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Comparison of the nasal release of IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, CCL13/MCP-4, and CCL26/eotaxin-3 in allergic rhinitis during season and after allergen challenge

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Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory disease characterized by local overproduction of type 2 cytokines and tissue eosinophilia. Recent research suggests the involvement of additional cytokines such as IL-17, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL) 26/eotaxin-3, and CCL13/monocyte chemoattractant protein-4 (MCP-4) in its pathophysiology. Furthermore, bronchial epithelial cells treated with IL-17 and type 2 cytokines distinctively up-regulated eotaxin-3 gene expression. In this study we investigated the kinetics of IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, eotaxin-3, and MCP-4 in seasonal allergic rhinitis volunteers after nasal allergen challenge (NAC) and their release during natural pollen exposure.


The nasal lavages of 15 symptomatic allergic and 14 nonallergic subjects were collected during the pollination season. Additionally, six allergic subjects underwent a single unilateral nasal allergen and control challenge out of season, and nasal secretions were collected. Levels of IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, eotaxin-3, and MCP-4 in nasal lavages and secretions were measured using an electrochemiluminescent assay.


After NAC, allergic subjects had a significant immediate response of nasal symptoms as well as a significant increase at 5 hours of IL-4, IL-10, and IL-17 and at 2, 5, and 24 hours significantly raising levels of eotaxin-3. IL-17 and eotaxin-3 concentrations at 5 hours were correlated (r = 0.94; p = 0.005). During natural pollen exposure, barely detectable levels of IL-17 in allergic subjects were also correlated with eotaxin-3 (r = 0.62; p = 0.01). Eotaxin-3 and MCP-4 levels were significantly elevated 9- or 3.7-fold, respectively, and IL-10 and, unexpectedly, IL-4 were significantly lower in allergic subjects compared with nonallergic subjects.


Nasal IL-17, MCP-4, and, possibly, eotaxin-3 may aggravate and IL-10 may alleviate nasal mucosal allergy.
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Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; CCL13/MCP-4; CCL26/eotaxin-3; IL-10; IL-17; IL-4; kinetics; nasal allergen challenge; nasal lavages; nasal secretion; natural pollen exposure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Heinrich Heine University of Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany

Publication date: 2013-07-01

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