Cytokine expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes before and after aspirin desensitization in aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease

Goutam P Shome, James Tarbox, Michael Shearer, Ronald Kennedy
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings: 2007, 28 (6): 706-10
Aspirin intolerance is the hallmark of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). Overproduction of cysteinyl-leukotrienes (Cys-LTs) has been implicated as major mediators of AERD; however, the LT receptor antagonist montelukast is only partially effective in inhibiting aspirin responses. Several studies have documented the importance of cytokine production by T lymphocytes in asthma. Peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) cytokine expression and its relation to aspirin desensitization in aspirin-sensitive patients with asthma have not been studied. This study was performed to examine PBL cytokine expression in aspirin-sensitive patients who have asthma before and after aspirin desensitization. A 42-year-old white woman with a history of severe asthma, nasal polyps, aspirin sensitivity, and chronic sinusitis was treated with aspirin desensitization. Blood was taken before and after aspirin desensitization, and PBL cytokine expression was studied by flow cytometry. Aspirin desensitization differentially affects interferon (IFN) gamma expression. This effect results in an increase in IFN-gamma expression by CD4(+) lymphocytes and a decrease in IFN-gamma expression by CD8(+) lymphocytes. Aspirin desensitization in an aspirin-sensitive patient with asthma resulted in an increase in IFN-gamma expression by CD4(+) lymphocytes and a decrease in IFN-gamma expression by CD8(+) lymphocytes, the significance of which needs additional investigation.

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