Immunoreactivity profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with ragweed-induced allergic rhinitis
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BACKGROUND: Seasonal rhinitis is manifested by a series of nasal symptoms in response to exposure to seasonal allergens including ragweed pollen. Understanding its immunological mechanisms may help to better manage the disease. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine comprehensively ragweed-induced cytokine and chemokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal individuals and patients with seasonal rhinitis sensitized to ragweed pollen, and to assess its regulation by exogenous IL-10. METHODS: Cells were cultured in the presence or absence of a purified ragweed pollen extract with or without exogenous IL-10. Cytokines and chemokines were measured in the supernatant. Gene expression was evaluated using real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR. RESULTS: Ragweed stimulation significantly increased the production of the Th2-associated cytokines IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13, the chemokines CCL17 and CCL22 and the regulatory cytokine IL-10 in allergic patients, whereas transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) production was increased only in normal individuals. No difference was detected between groups in the production of the Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma or the Th1-affiliated chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11. Exogenous IL-10 significantly suppressed spontaneous and induced production of both Th1- and Th2-associated cytokines and chemokines. CONCLUSION: Our work demonstrated that locally manifested allergic rhinitis is underlined by a systemic Th2 immune response specific to allergens. The molecular pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis may be linked to a compromised allergen-specific immune regulation, e.g., reduced spontaneous and allergen-induced TGF-beta production in patients compared with healthy controls. Our data also show that IL-10 inhibits both the effector and directional mechanisms of allergen-specific immune response, further supporting its potential therapeutic benefit in preventing and treating allergic diseases.
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