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Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Nov;51(11):1934-41. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

Allergen-specific in vitro cytokine production in adult patients with eosinophilic esophagitis.

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Division of Allergic Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Although the pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) likely involves hypersensitivity reactions against exogenous allergens, allergen-specific cellular immune responses have not been studied. We investigated allergen-induced cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in adult patients with EE (n=15) and healthy controls (HC; n=9). PBMCs were incubated with nine common food and environmental allergens or a nonspecific mitogen, and the levels of interleukin (IL)-5, IL-10, IL-13, and interferon-gamma in the cell-free supernatants were determined. Spontaneous and mitogen-stimulated cytokine production did not differ between EE and HC. House dust mite, ragweed, Aspergillus, milk, and soy induced significantly higher IL-5 production in EE (P < 0.05). House dust mite also augmented IL-13 production in EE (P < 0.05). Furthermore, PBMCs from three EE patients without allergen-specific IgE vigorously produced IL-5 and IL-13 on allergen stimulation. Thus, immune responses in EE are characterized by enhanced production of Th2-like cytokines against both food and environmental allergens.

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