Intracellular production of IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ by peripheral blood CD3+ cells in intermittent allergic rhinitis
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Background: Allergic inflammation is mainly driven by type 2 T helper cells. The aim was to assess the changes in production of type 1 and 2 cytokines by CD3+ T cells dependent on natural exposure to allergens in subjects with intermittent allergic rhinitis (IAR) and in non-atopic subjects.
Material: A total of 13 patients with IAR and 13 healthy non-atopics were recruited into the study. 11 patients with IAR were examined during the grass pollen season and 11 patients outside the season, 9 of them were assessed on both occasions.
Methods: A flow cytometric assessment of intracellular expression of IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ by CD3+ cells was performed. For statistical analysis non-parametric tests were used.
Results: A tendency to decreased production of IL-4 outside the season was observed (6.94% [3.42–13.33] in season vs. 2.06% [0.7–3.6] out of season). The production of IL-4 was higher in the rhinitic group in the season than in the control group (1.93% [1.07–4.97], p = 0.0034) and production of IL-2 was higher both in and outside the season (9.1% [3.94–15.09] and 10.0% [4.79–25.35] vs. 3.64% (2.64–5.03), p = 0.037 and 0.045, respectively). IL-4/IL-2 and IL-4/IFN-γ ratios were higher in the IAR group in the season than outside the season.
Conclusion: A tendency towards a switch from a predominant type 2 response during natural allergen exposure to its suppression outside the season was found, together with a stable type 1 response.
Key words.Flow cytometry Intermittent allergic rhinitis Intracellular cytokines Th1/Th2
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