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Scand J Immunol. 1996 Jun;43(6):680-6.

Serum level of interleukin-4 in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis during allergen-specific immunotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.


Interleukin-4 (IL-4) may play a central role in the IgE synthesis system, the development of Th-2-like cells, and co-ordination as well as the persistence of airway inflammatory process in allergic disorders. Therefore, IL-4 plays a key role in airway allergic disorders. This study aimed at investigating the serum concentrations of IL-4 in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis, with special reference to the possible changes and the clinical relevance following long-term immunotherapy. The study has demonstrated that the serum level of IL-4 in allergic rhinitis patients before immunotherapy is significantly higher than that in non-atopic individuals. However, the serum IL-4 level in allergic rhinitis patients did not decrease following anti-allergic medications but significantly decreased following immunotherapy. The percentage decrease in IL-4 was correlated significantly with the percentage decrease in specific IgE antibodies following long-term immunotherapy. Immunotherapy also significantly decreased specific IgE anti-bodies, but this reduction in specific IgE antibodies was not significantly correlated with the clinical improvement. In contrast, the percentage decrease in serum IL-4 was significantly correlated with the percentage decrease in symptomatic scores. The authors interpret these data to mean that immunotherapy alters T-cell cytokine profiles in the long-term, and a decline of IL-4 following immunotherapy could modulate not only production of specific IgE antibodies but also inflammatory cellular events, leading to symptomatic relief in allergic rhinitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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