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Small Bowel of Patients with Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: Absence of Inflammation Despite the Presence of Major Cellular Components of Allergic Inflammation

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Eosinophils participate in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract and the gut. We investigated the constitutive presence of eosinophils and mononuclear cells in the macroscopically normal duodenal mucosa of patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis. Macroscopically normal duodenal specimens were obtained at routine endoscopy for upper gastrointestinal symptoms from 16 patients with asthma and 13 patients with allergic rhinitis. Twelve nonatopic patients with irritable bowel syndrome were studied as controls. Specimens were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using a panel of antibodies to human eosinophil cationic protein clone EG1 (EG1) and clone EG2 (EG2), anti-human interleukin (anti-hIL)-5, anti-hIL-4, anti-CD4, and anti-CD68. Significantly increased numbers of eosinophils stained with EG1 and EG2 were found in the duodenum of patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis compared with controls. IL-5+ cells and IL-4+ cells were detected in significantly increased numbers in the duodenal mucosa of patients with asthma and rhinitis compared with controls. Mononuclear cells expressing CD4 (helper T cells) and CD68 (macrophages) also were significantly increased in the duodenal mucosa of asthma and rhinitis compared with controls. Accumulation of eosinophils in conjunction with IL-4 cells and IL-5 cells in the noninflamed duodenal mucosa may reflect a predominant T helper cell subset 2 systemic immune response in patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis. The absence of intestinal inflammation despite the marked presence of cells implicated in the allergic inflammation suggests that local mechanisms might determine the state of nonresponsiveness in the gut mucosa of patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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