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SCF and IL-31 rather than IL-17 and BAFF are potential indicators in patients with allergic asthma

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Although the prevalence of allergic asthma increased quickly in the past decade, the diagnostic criteria have not been well established. The aim of the present study was to explore whether stem cell factor (SCF), B cell-activating factor (BAFF), and cytokines interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-31 are usable parameters for the diagnosis of allergic asthmatics. Methods: 

Blood samples were collected from patients with allergic asthma, control patients, and healthy control subjects. The serum concentrations of SCF, BAFF, IL-17, and IL-31 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The corresponding mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results: 

A good correlation existed between protein levels of SCF and IL-31 and their mRNA levels (SCF: r = 0.6162; IL-31: r = 0.5463). The serum concentrations of SCF and IL-31 in allergic asthmatic patients, but not control patients, were significantly higher than those in normal control subjects (SCF: median 1.83 vs 0.85 ng/ml, P <0.01; IL-31: 50.15 vs 10.01 pg/ml, P <0.001). Consistently, the levels of SCF and IL-31 mRNAs in allergic asthmatic patients’ PBMCs were also significantly higher than those in normal control subjects (P =0.002 and P <0.001, respectively). Conclusions: 

These findings suggest that allergic asthma is characterized by an elevation of cytokines SCF and IL-31 and the measurement of their expression at either protein level in serum or mRNA level in PBMCs will be a valuable parameter for the diagnosis of allergic asthma.
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Keywords: allergic asthma; diagnosis; interleukin-31; stem cell factor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Tongji Medical College 2: Department of Allergy, Tongji Hospital; Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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