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Cell Immunol. 1998 Nov 25;190(1):43-50.

Long-term analysis of allergen-specific T cell clones from patients with asthma treated with allergen rush immunotherapy.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.


Rush immunotherapy (RI), a modified allergen-specific immunotherapeutic procedure, is an effective treatment for extrinsic (atopic) asthma, although the precise mechanism of its action is unclear. We have thus investigated the effect of RI on T cell response in seven mite-allergen-sensitive asthmatic patients who were successfully treated with RI. The proliferative response to mite allergen profoundly decreased after 3 months of therapy compared to the response before therapy; the response, however, recovered 18 months after RI. Regarding cytokine production patterns of mite-specific T cells, RI brought about a shift in cytokine profiles from Th2 to Th0 or Th1 in mite-specific T cell clones. The data indicate that the efficacy of RI is due to modification of T cell responses to mite antigens. Allergen RI results in the conversion of Th2 to Th1 and Th0 cells and/or selection of Th1 and Th0 cells over Th2 cells and thus may improve both clinical symptoms and airway inflammation in asthmatics.

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