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Basophil Interleukin 4 and Interleukin 13 Production Is Suppressed during the Early Phase of Rush ImmunotherapyPlewako H.a · Wosińska K.a · Arvidsson M.a · Björkander J.a · Skov P.S.c · Håkansson L.b · Rak S.a
aAsthma and Allergy Research Group, Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, and bDepartment of Medical Sciences, Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden; cLaboratory of Medical Allergology, Department 7512, National University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Background: Studies using rush immunotherapy (RIT) have shown that rapid protection can be achieved using protocols allowing a fast increment of allergen dose. We examined the early effects of RIT on basophil numbers and expression of CD203c, production of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 and histamine release by basophils in the peripheral blood of patients treated with immunotherapy and controls. Methods: Twelve patients treated with RIT and 4 untreated controls were included in the study. Any adverse events were evaluated during the incremental phase of RIT. Mononuclear cells were isolated before the start of RIT and 3 days, 1 week, 4 weeks and 3 months after the beginning of the treatment. Histamine release upon allergen stimulation, expression of CD203c and allergen-induced production of IL-4 and IL-13 by basophils were examined. Results: Significant decreases in blood basophil count (p = 0.02) were observed early in the treatment, returning to baseline values 1 week after the start of RIT. Similarly, histamine release decreased at day 3 (p = 0.02), but returned to pretreatment levels after 1 week. Also, the percentage of IL-4+ and IL-13+ basophils and levels of CD203c expression were markedly reduced early in the treatment. IL-4 and IL-13 production correlated with histamine release and CD203c expression. Histamine release and production of IL-4 and IL-13 by basophils before the treatment correlated with the severity of adverse events during the incremental phase of RIT. Conclusion: We report the decrease in blood basophil numbers, their lower activation status and the reduced production of IL-4 and IL-13 early in the course of RIT. This early suppression of basophil activation could be one mechanism behind the protective effect of RIT.
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