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CARsomes inhibit airway allergic inflammation in mice by inducing antigen-specific Th2 cell apoptosis

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (5)

Background Skewed T helper (Th)2 response plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. The therapeutic efficacy for allergic diseases is unsatisfactory currently. This study aims to regulate the skewed Th2 response with CARsomes. Methods The CARsome consisted of an epitope of Dermatophagoides farina-1 (Derf1), a segment of the anti-DEC205 antibody, the scFv, and an open reading frame of perforin. This fusion protein binds to DEC205 molecule on the surface of exosomes derived from dendritic cells (DC). The effects of CARsome on inducing antigen (Ag)-specific Th2 cell apoptosis were assessed both in vivo and in vitro. Results Exposure to CARsomes in the culture induced Ag-specific Th2 cell apoptosis. Injection of CARsomes through the vein puncture also induced Ag-specific Th2 cell apoptosis in the lungs of sensitized mice. CARsomes could induce Ag-specific regulatory T cells. Administration of CARsomes efficiently inhibited experimental allergic airway inflammation. Conclusions The CARsomes can inhibit allergic airway inflammation by inducing Ag-specific Th2 cell apoptosis and induce Ag-specific regulatory T cells. The data suggest that CARsomes have the translational potential to be used to treat allergic airway inflammation.

Artemisia annua-sublingual immunotherapy for seasonal allergic rhinitis: A randomized controlled trial

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (8)

Background Artemisia annua is an important autumnal pollen allergen for seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) in northern China. To date, no study has investigated allergen immunotherapy with A annua. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and mechanisms underlying A annua-sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Methods This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial involving 71 SAR patients, randomized to SLIT with A annua extract (n = 47) or placebo (n = 24) for 32 weeks. Total nasal symptom score (TNSS; primary clinical end point) was evaluated at baseline (peak pollen phase (PPP) in the previous year), initiation of A annua-SLIT, 1st PPP during SLIT, end of SLIT and 2nd PPP during follow-up. Blood samples and nasal secretions were collected at beginning and after SLIT for assessment of T cells and inflammatory mediators. Safety was assessed according to adverse events (AEs) reported. Results Artemisia annua-SLIT significantly reduced TNSS to a greater level from baseline (from 9.45 +/- 1.68 to 6.16 +/- 2.27) than placebo (from 9.29 +/- 2.09 to 9.05 +/- 2.40) at the 1st PPP (P < .001) and sustained the improvement in symptoms throughout to the 2nd PPP. Preseasonal A annua-SLIT for 16 weeks significantly decreased Th2 cells, increased nTreg and Tr1 cells in blood; and increased cystatin 1 (CST1) in nasal secretion after 16 and 32 weeks compared with pretreatment. Overall, 17/47 patients experienced mild local AEs and 2 patients mild systemic AEs, after A annua-SLIT. Conclusion Artemisia annua-SLIT is an efficacious and safe treatment in patients with A annua SAR.

Stability of regulatory T cells in T helper 2-biased allergic airway diseases

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (8)

Regulatory T (Treg) cells potentially suppress the deleterious activities of effector T cells and maintain a state of tolerance against antigens in the airway mucosa. A decrease in the number and function of Treg cells is observed in T helper 2 (Th2)-biased allergic airway diseases. However, adoptive transfer of naturally occurring Treg (tTreg) cells or peripherally derived Treg (pTreg) cells in asthmatic mouse models did not yield satisfactory results in any previous studies. Here, we review the recent progress in the identification and plasticity of tTreg and pTreg cells in Th2-biased airway diseases and summarize the factors affecting the stability and function of Treg cells. This review may serve as foundation for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the stability of tTreg and pTreg cells and development of effective strategies for treating allergic airway diseases.

Eleven faces of coronavirus disease 2019

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (7)

Background and aims The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has recently spread worldwide and been declared a pandemic. We aim to describe here the various clinical presentations of this disease by examining eleven cases. Methods Electronic medical records of 11 patients with COVID-19 were collected, and demographics, clinical manifestations, outcomes, key laboratory results, and radiological images are discussed. Results The clinical course of the eleven cases demonstrated the complexity of the COVID-19 profile with different clinical presentations. Clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic cases to patients with mild and severe symptoms, with or without pneumonia. Laboratory detection of the viral nucleic acid can yield false-negative results, and serological testing of virus-specific IgG and IgM antibodies should be used as an alternative for diagnosis. Patients with common allergic diseases did not develop distinct symptoms and severe courses. Cases with a pre-existing condition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or complicated with a secondary bacterial pneumonia were more severe. Conclusion All different clinical characteristics of COVID-19 should be taken into consideration to identify patients that need to be in strict quarantine for the efficient containment of the pandemic.

CD23 expression on switched memory B cells bridges T-B cell interaction in allergic rhinitis

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (10)

Background The contribution of B-cell subsets and T-B cell interaction to the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis (AR) and mechanisms of allergen immunotherapy (AIT) remain poorly understood. This study aimed to outline circulating B-cell signature, the underlying mechanism, and its association with clinical response to AIT in patients with AR. Methods IgD/CD27 and CD24/CD38 core gating systems were used to determine frequencies and phenotypes of B cells. Correlations between B cells, T cells, antigen-specific IgE, and disease severity in AR patients were investigated. Switched memory B cells were co-cultured with type 2 follicular helper T (Tfh2) cells and follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells. Associations between B-cell subsets and clinical benefits of AIT were analyzed. Results Frequencies and absolute numbers of circulating memory B cells were increased in AR patients. CD23 expression on CD19(+)CD20(+)CD27(+)IgD(-) switched memory B cells was significantly enhanced and positively correlated with antigen-specific IgE levels, symptom scores, and Tfh2/Tfr cell ratio in AR patients. Compared with those from healthy controls, Tfh2 cells from AR patients had a greater capacity to induce CD23 expression on switched memory B cells via IL-4, which was unable to be sufficiently suppressed by AR-associated Tfr cells with defective IL-10 expression. CD23 expression on switched memory B cells was downregulated after 12-month AIT, which positively associated with disease remission in AR patients. Conclusion T-B cell interaction, bridged by CD23 expression particularly on switched memory B cells, may be involved in the disease pathogenesis and mechanism of AIT in patients with AR.

COVID-19 in a designated infectious diseases hospital outside Hubei Province, China

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (7)

Background The clinical characteristics of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) patients outside the epicenter of Hubei Province are less understood. Methods We analyzed the epidemiological and clinical features of all COVID-2019 cases in the only referral hospital in Shenzhen City, China, from January 11, 2020, to February 6, 2020, and followed until March 6, 2020. Results Among the 298 confirmed cases, 233 (81.5%) had been to Hubei, while 42 (14%) did not have a clear travel history. Only 218 (73.15%) cases had a fever as the initial symptom. Compared with the nonsevere cases, severe cases were associated with older age, those with underlying diseases, and higher levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Slower clearance of the virus was associated with a higher risk of progression to critical condition. As of March 6, 2020, 268 (89.9%) patients were discharged and the overall case fatality ratio was 1.0%. Conclusions In a designated hospital outside Hubei Province, COVID-2019 patients could be effectively managed by properly using the existing hospital system. Mortality may be lowered when cases are relatively mild, and there are sufficient medical resources to care and treat the disease.

A novel whole blood gene expression signature for asthma, dermatitis, and rhinitis multimorbidity in children and adolescents

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (12)

Background Allergic diseases often occur in combination (multimorbidity). Human blood transcriptome studies have not addressed multimorbidity. Large-scale gene expression data were combined to retrieve biomarkers and signaling pathways to disentangle allergic multimorbidity phenotypes. Methods Integrated transcriptomic analysis was conducted in 1233 participants with a discovery phase using gene expression data (Human Transcriptome Array 2.0) from whole blood of 786 children from three European birth cohorts (MeDALL), and a replication phase using RNA Sequencing data from an independent cohort (EVA-PR, n = 447). Allergic diseases (asthma, atopic dermatitis, rhinitis) were considered as single disease or multimorbidity (at least two diseases), and compared with no disease. Results Fifty genes were differentially expressed in allergic diseases. Thirty-two were not previously described in allergy. Eight genes were consistently overexpressed in all types of multimorbidity for asthma, dermatitis, and rhinitis (CLC, EMR4P, IL5RA, FRRS1, HRH4, SLC29A1, SIGLEC8, IL1RL1). All genes were replicated the in EVA-PR cohort. RT-qPCR validated the overexpression of selected genes. In MeDALL, 27 genes were differentially expressed in rhinitis alone, but none was significant for asthma or dermatitis alone. The multimorbidity signature was enriched in eosinophil-associated immune response and signal transduction. Protein-protein interaction network analysis identified IL5/JAK/STAT and IL33/ST2/IRAK/TRAF as key signaling pathways in multimorbid diseases. Synergistic effect of multimorbidity on gene expression levels was found. Conclusion A signature of eight genes identifies multimorbidity for asthma, rhinitis, and dermatitis. Our results have clinical and mechanistic implications, and suggest that multimorbidity should be considered differently than allergic diseases occurring alone.

Integration of metagenomics-metabolomics reveals specific signatures and functions of airway microbiota in mite-sensitized childhood asthma

期刊: ALLERGY, 2020; 75 (11)

Background Childhood asthma is a multifactorial inflammatory condition of the airways, associated with specific changes in respiratory microbiome and circulating metabolome. Methods To explore the functional capacity of asthmatic microbiome and its intricate connection with the host, we performed shotgun sequencing of airway microbiome and untargeted metabolomics profiling of serum samples in a cohort of children with mite-sensitized asthma and non-asthmatic controls. Results We observed higher gene counts and sample-to-sample dissimilarities in asthmatic microbiomes, indicating a more heterogeneous community structure and functionality among the cases than in controls. Moreover, we identified airway microbial species linked to changes in circulating metabolites and IgE responses of the host, including a positive correlation between Prevotella sp oral taxon 306 and dimethylglycine that were both decreased in patients. Several control-enriched species (Eubacterium sulci, Prevotella pallens, and Prevotella sp oral taxon 306) were inversely correlated with total and allergen-specific IgE levels. Genes related to microbial carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism were differentially enriched, suggesting that changes in microbial metabolism may contribute to respiratory health in asthmatics. Pathway modules relevant to allergic responses were differentially abundant in asthmatic microbiome, such as enrichments for biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, membrane trafficking, histidine metabolism, and glycosaminoglycan degradation, and depletions for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation. Further, we identified metagenomic and metabolomic markers (eg, Eubacterium sulci) to discriminate cases from the non-asthmatic controls. Conclusions Our dual-omics data reveal the connections between respiratory microbes and circulating metabolites perturbed in mite-sensitized pediatric asthma, which may be of etiological and diagnostic implications.

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