Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Allergy. 2006 Nov;61(11):1351-7.

Decrease of cytotoxic T cells in allergic asthma correlates with total serum immunglobulin E.

Author information

Department of Pneumology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.



Allergic asthma has been linked to an increase in T-helper type 2-like cytokines and T cells, but there is growing evidence for a role of lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of asthma. Therefore, we investigated the cytotoxic potential of different lymphocyte subpopulations in patients with allergic asthma.


Granzyme A, B, K, and perforin expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes was analyzed using flow cytometry. Soluble granzymes were measured in serum using specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.


Asthmatics had significantly decreased percentages of granzyme and perforin-positive CD4 T cells compared with non-atopic controls. In patients with asthma, the granzyme B and perforin-positive subset of CD8(+) T cells and natural killer T cells, which represent more differentiated cell populations, were significantly reduced, while this was not observed in the less differentiated granzyme K(+) subsets. In addition, the serum concentrations of granzyme B were significantly reduced in patients with asthma, while granzyme K concentrations were not different. Interestingly, there was a negative correlation between granzyme A, B and perforin expression in T cell subsets as well as serum granzyme B concentrations and total serum immunglobulin E. In CD3-negative natural killer cells, no differences in granzyme or perforin expression between patients with asthma and controls were detected.


In allergic asthma, cytotoxic T lymphocyte subsets of a more differentiated phenotype are significantly decreased and this is correlated to serum immunglobulin E levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center