Response of Peripheral Blood Th17 Cells to Inhaled Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma
Recent studies have shown the importance of Th17 cells in the development of allergic airway diseases. We examined Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus-induced changes in peripheral blood Th17 cells to establish the importance of these cells in late-phase allergic inflammation in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and allergic asthma (AA).
Eighteen patients with mild-to-moderate/severe persistent AR, 14 patients with intermittent- or mild-to-moderate persistent AA, and 15 healthy subjects (HS) were examined. All patients had positive skin test to D. pteronyssinus. Study subjects underwent bronchial challenge with D. pteronyssinus. The peripheral blood Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells were determined by flow cytometry 24 h before and 7 and 24 h after challenge. The serum IL-17 levels were determined by ELISA.
The percentage of Th17 cells and IL-17 levels was significantly higher in patients with AR and AA compared with HS before and after challenge. Twenty-four hours after challenge, the percentage of Th17 cells increased significantly in patients with AA compared with baseline values. The IL-17 levels rose markedly in patients with AR and AA after challenge. Moreover, 24 h after challenge, the percentage of Th17 cells and IL-17 levels were significantly higher in patients with AA than those with AR.
Percentages of peripheral blood Th17 cells and serum IL-17 levels were found to be higher in patients with AR and AA. An increase in the percentage of Th17 cells following challenge shows that Th17 cells may have an important role in the development of late-phase allergen-induced inflammation.