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Clin Exp Allergy. 2006 Feb;36(2):174-82.

Allergen-induced interleukin-9 production in vitro: correlation with atopy in human adults and comparison with interleukin-5 and interleukin-13.

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Neuroendocrine Immunology, Pharmacology Department, Medical School, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.



The contribution of IL-9 to human atopy is supported by genetic studies. However, IL-9 production in response to allergen in vitro has been reported only in children.


Study IL-9 induction by allergen in adults, compare it with IL-5 and IL-13 and evaluate its association with atopy.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) from control adults and from atopic patients were cultured with various allergens or phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and secreted IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13 were measured by ELISA.


IL-9 was produced in response to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) by PBMC from Der p-hypersensitive adults at levels equivalent to those induced by PHA but with slower kinetics. The induction of IL-9 was allergen specific, reflecting donor RAST profile. In Der p-triggered reactions of non-atopic and atopic subjects, IL-9 showed the highest selectivity for atopics, IL-5 and IL-13 being produced more frequently in non-atopic donors. Significant correlations with specific IgE titres were found for IL-9 with all allergens tested (Der p and two peptides of Bet v 1 birch allergen). For IL-5 and IL-13, they were in the same range for Der p but more variable for birch allergens. Patterns of cytokine production by individual patients in response to allergen reflected these differences: for Der p, IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13 productions were strongly correlated but for birch IL-5 differed from the latter two. The in vitro production of IL-9 reflected clinical hypersensitivity profiles and was higher in individuals with asthma than in those with disease limited to rhinitis and/or conjunctivitis.


Allergen-triggered IL-9 production in vitro is an excellent marker for atopy in adults given its virtual absence in allergen-stimulated PBMC from non-atopic individuals and its correlation with allergen-specific IgE and asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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