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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Jul;146(1):170-6.

Immunohistology of the nasal mucosa following allergen-induced rhinitis. Identification of activated T lymphocytes, eosinophils, and neutrophils.

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Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, United Kingdom.


We have studied the immunohistology of the nasal mucosa in allergen-induced rhinitis. Sixteen grass pollen-sensitive patients were challenged twice by randomly allocated allergen or control solutions applied on filter paper disks to the inferior turbinate. All had immediate nasal responses, but late-phase responses were equivocal and only evident as nostril blockage. When cell counts in the nasal submucosa were compared with control values 24 h after allergen, there were no changes in CD45+ (total leukocytes), CD3+, or CD8+ cells. Significant increases were found in the numbers of CD4+ T-helper cells (p less than 0.05) and CD25+ [interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R+)] cells (p less than 0.02). Increases in eosinophils (anti-major basic protein, p less than 0.01) and neutrophils (antineutrophil elastase, p less than 0.01) were also observed. There were increases in tissue macrophages and HLA-DR-positive immunostaining and a reduction in mast cells (tryptase positive), but none of these changes was statistically significant. No significant changes in epithelial thickness, cross-sectional area, or integrity were observed. There was a significant correlation between CD4+ and CD25+ cells (r = 0.61, p less than 0.01) but not between macrophages and CD25+ cells (r = 0.18). The changes in the nasal submucosa were not merely a reflection of alterations in circulating cell populations since it was shown that a significant increase in the lymphocyte CD4/CD8 ratio (p less than 0.05) was observed in nasal biopsies but not in peripheral blood after allergen challenge.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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