These results are useful for understanding the molecular basis of the mechanisms of CRSwNP and point to new targets for developing specific biomarkers and personalized therapeutic strategies for CRSwNP.
BackgroundInterleukin-31 (IL-31) is a recently identified cytokine produced by Th2 cells that is involved in the development of atopic dermatitis-induced skin inflammation and pruritus. Its receptor, IL-31RA, is expressed by a number of cell types, including epithelial cells, eosinophils, and activated monocytes and macrophages. To date, however, the regulation of Th2 responses by distinct cell types and tissues expressing IL-31RA has not been well studied.MethodsIn this study, Cry j 2, one of the major allergens of Japanese cedar pollen, was administered to IL-31RA-deficient or wild-type (WT) mice via nasal or intraperitoneal injection for induction of specific Th2 responses.ResultsAfter nasal administration of Cry j 2, IL-31RA-deficient mice showed lower Cry j 2-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation, Th2 cytokine (IL-5 and IL-13) production, and Th2-mediated (IgE, IgG1, and IgG2b) antibody responses than WT mice. In contrast, IL-31RA-deficient mice administered Cry j 2 intraperitoneally showed stronger Th2 immune responses than WT mice.ConclusionsThese results indicate that IL-31R signaling positively regulates Th2 responses induced by nasal administration of Cry j 2, but negatively regulates these responses when Cry j 2 is administered intraperitoneally. Collectively, these data indicate that the induction of antigen-specific Th2 immune responses might depend on tissue-specific cell types expressing IL-31RA.
Japanese cedar (JC) pollinosis is a serious type I allergic disease in Japan. Although subcutaneous immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy have been applied to treat JC pollinosis, high doses of allergens may cause IgE-mediated allergic reactions. The transgenic rice seeds that contain genetically modified Cry j 1 and Cry j 2, the two major allergens of JC pollen, have been developed as candidates for oral immunotherapy. Although the antigens in the transgenic rice seeds (Tg-rice seeds) were engineered such that they decrease binding ability with IgE and they are of insufficient length to cross-link IgE on the surface of mast cells or basophils, the safety of Tg-rice seeds for patients with JC pollinosis was unclear.
To verify the safety of Tg-rice seeds in terms of allergies, we investigated the percentage of activated basophils induced by Tg-rice seed extract in the basophil activation test. Blood samples from 29 patients with JC pollinosis were collected. Tg-rice seed extract, non-transgenic wild-type rice seed extract, and Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 were mixed with the blood with reagents. The percentage of activated basophils was assessed by CD203c expression, a basophil activation marker.
The percentage of activated basophils after the stimulation with Tg-rice seed extract was 4.5 ± 1.6% (mean ± SD) compared with 62.9 ± 20.2% after Cry j 1- and Cry j 2-stimulation (difference 58.4%, P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval 51.0–65.9%).
The results will contribute to the safety of Tg-rice seeds in terms of allergies.
<b><i>Background:</i></b> A rice-based peptide vaccine containing 7 linked human predominant T-cell epitopes (7Crp) derived from Japanese cedar (JC) pollen allergens, Cry j 1 and Cry j 2, was developed. Here, we examined the efficacy and safety of this transgenic rice in JC pollinosis patients. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Transgenic rice (5, 20, and 80 g) was administered orally. We measured the T-cell proliferative activity against 7Crp, Cry j 1, and Cry j 2; the cytokine expression levels; and specific IgE and IgG4 production levels. In addition, the symptom and medication scores were monitored during the pollen season, and quality of life (QOL) was evaluated. <b><i>Results:</i></b> T-cell proliferative activities to Cry j 1, Cry j 2, and 7Crp were significantly depressed in a dose-dependent manner. Oral intake of 80 g transgenic rice for 20 weeks resulted in significant suppression of allergen-specific T-cell proliferation with downregulation of IL-13 and upregulation of IL-10 levels but no changes to specific IgE and IgG4 levels. The QOL symptom scores for allergic rhinitis were not significantly improved. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> Allergen-specific T-cell responses were significantly reduced by oral intake of transgenic rice in a dose-dependent manner. However, neither medication score nor QOL symptom scores could be improved during the JC pollen season with oral intake of transgenic rice for 20 weeks.
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