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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014 Mar;112(3):211-216.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.12.006. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Leukotriene B4 receptor 1 is differentially expressed on peripheral T cells of steroid-sensitive and -resistant asthmatics.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.
  • 2Division of Allergy, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.
  • 3Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado.
  • 4Division of Cell Biology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado. Electronic address:



Numbers of CD8(+) T cells expressing the leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor, BLT1, have been correlated with asthma severity.


To examine the activation and numbers of BLT1-expressing peripheral blood CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from patients with steroid-sensitive (SS) and steroid-resistant (SR) asthma.


CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells isolated from peripheral blood of healthy human subjects and patients with SS and SR asthma were stimulated in culture with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 followed by analysis of BLT1 surface expression and cytokine production. Activation of CD8(+) T cells after ligation of BLT1 by LTB4 was monitored by changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations.


The number of BLT1-expressing cells was larger in patients with asthma than in controls and larger on activated CD8(+) than on CD4(+) T cells. Addition of LTB4 to activated CD8(+) T cells resulted in increases in intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. Expansion of activated CD4(+) T cells, unlike CD8(+) T cells, was significantly decreased in the presence of corticosteroid. In patients with SS asthma, numbers of BLT1-expressing CD8(+) T cells were lower in the presence of corticosteroid, unlike in those with SR asthma in whom cell expansion was maintained. Levels of interleukin-13 were highest in cultured CD8(+) T cells, whereas interleukin-10 levels were higher in CD4(+) T cells from controls and patients with SS asthma. Interferon-γ levels were lowest in patients with SR asthma.


Differences in BLT1 expression, steroid sensitivity, and cytokine production were demonstrated in T lymphocytes from patients with SS and SR asthma. The LTB4-BLT1 pathway in CD8(+) cells may play an important role in asthma and serve as an important target in the treatment of patients with SR asthma.

Copyright © 2014 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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