Cat allergen peptide immunotherapy reduces CD4+ T cell responses to cat allergen but does not alter suppression by CD4+ CD25+ T cells: a double-blind placebo-controlled study
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BACKGROUND: We have previously described both modification of allergen immunotherapy using peptide fragments, and reduced regulation of allergen stimulated T cells by CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells from allergic donors when compared with nonallergic controls. It has been suggested that allergen immunotherapy induces regulatory T cell activity: we hypothesized that allergen peptide immunotherapy might increase suppressive activity of CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells. OBJECTIVE: To examine cat allergen-stimulated CD4 T cell responses and their suppression by CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells before and after cat allergen peptide immunotherapy in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. METHODS: Peripheral blood was obtained and stored before and after peptide immunotherapy or placebo treatment. CD4(+) and CD4(+) CD25(+) were then isolated by immunomagnetic beads and cultured with allergen in vitro. RESULTS: Comparing cells from blood taken before with that after peptide immunotherapy there was a significant reduction in both proliferation and IL-13 production by allergen-stimulated CD4+ T cells, whereas no change was seen after placebo. CD4(+) CD25(+) T cells suppressed both proliferation and IL-13 production by CD4(+) CD25(-) T cells before and after therapy but peptide therapy was not associated with any change in suppressive activity of these cells. CONCLUSION: Allergen peptide immunotherapy alters T cell response to allergen through mechanisms other than changes in CD4(+) CD25(+) T cell suppression.
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