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Innate and lymphocytic response of birch-allergic patients before and after sublingual immunotherapy

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Functional imbalance in Th1/Th2 cell response toward allergens is a recognized hallmark of allergic patients and a major role of dendritic cells (DCs) in redirecting T-cell phenotypes after specific immunotherapy has been suggested. This study investigates the proliferative and cytokine responses of T cells cocultured with monocyte-derived DCs (MoDCs) after allergen stimulation in birch-allergic patients compared with controls and investigates whether sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) could change the DC-driven immune response. T cells were stimulated with the major birch pollen allergen (nBet v1) and MoDCs from eight birch-allergic patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis and eight nonallergic controls. Proliferation and cytokine production were measured before and after one course of SLIT with birch allergoid. Significantly lower levels of proinflammatory (IL-1beta, p = 0.027; IL-6, p = 0.030; TNF-alpha, p = 0.019) and Th1 (interferon gamma, p = 0.032; IL-12, p = 0.05) cytokines were measured in supernatants of T cells and MoDCs cultures from allergic patients compared with nonallergic controls. After SLIT, significant increase in IL-12 (p = 0.039), IL-1beta (p = 0.040), IL-6 (p = 0.041), TNF-α (p = 0.048), and IL-10 (p = 0.048) and significant decrease in IL-13 (p = 0.001) were observed. MoDCs/T-cell cocultures, pulsed with the specific allergen, produced lower quantities of proinflammatory and Th1 cytokines in allergic patients compared with healthy subjects, suggesting an allergen-specific impairment of natural immunity and Th1 immune response. A single course of SLIT was able to enhance allergen-specific innate immunity and to modify lymphocyte response, promoting Th1 and T-cell regulatory activity.
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Keywords: Allergic rhinitis; birch pollen; dendritic cells; inflammatory response; innate immunity; sublingual immunotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Internal Medicine II, Birago di Vische Hospital, ASL TO2, Torino, Italy

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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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