Document Type : Original Article
Department of Immunology, Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Department of Laboratory Sciences, Para-Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Department of Immunology, Medical School, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.
Background: The imbalance between Th2 and Treg cells plays fundamental role in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. The current study aimed at assessing the expression of some Th2 and Treg cell-related parameters in patients with allergic asthma.
Material and Methods: The serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples were collected from 30 patients with asthma and 36 healthy subjects. The serum levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, interleukin (IL)-4, as well as the expression levels of GATA3 and FOXP3 genes in PBMCs were determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. The PBMCs were cultured for 48 hours with/without phytohemagglutinin (PHA) stimulation. The TGF-β and IL-4 levels in supernatants were also determined.
Results: The serum levels of IL-4, the expression level of GATA3, and GATA3/FOXP3 ratio in patients with asthma were significantly higher than healthy subjects (P <0.002, P <0.001, and P <0.004, respectively). The FOXP3 expression did no differ between the two groups. The serum level of TGF-β as well as its secretion profile in non-stimulated and stimulated PBMCs isolated from patients with asthma were significantly higher than those of the controls (P <0.03, P <0.001, and P <0.001, respectively). The serum TGF-β levels in severe asthma were significantly higher than moderate asthma; whereas the TGF-β secretion by PHA-stimulated PBMCs isolated from moderate asthma was higher than that of severe pattern of the disease (P GTAT3/FOXP3 expression ratio in moderate asthma was significantly higher than severe form (P <0.04).
Conclusion: The results confirmed a Th2 cell-biased pattern and possible contribution of TGF-β in allergic asthma. TGF-β may have different expression patterns in moderate and severe asthma and the two forms of the disease may have differences in some main immunological parameters.