Specific immunotherapy to birch allergen does not enhance suppression of Th2 cells by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells during pollen season

Hanna Grindebacke, Pia Larsson, Kajsa Wing, Sabina Rak, Anna Rudin

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the suppressive capacity of CD25+ regulatory T cells on birch allergen-induced T-cell responses during the first birch pollen season after initiation of specific immunotherapy (SIT). Methods: CD25pos and CD25neg T cells were purified from blood of birch-allergic SIT patients and birch-allergic controls, stimulated with birch pollen extract, and analyzed for T-cell proliferation and production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-10. Results: We show that allergen-induced proliferation and IFN-γ production were suppressed equally well by CD25pos T cells from SIT patients and controls, while the IL-5 production was not suppressed by either of the groups. IL-10 levels were higher in SIT patients relative to controls only when CD25neg and CD25pos were cultured together. Furthermore, neither FOXP3 levels nor proportions of CD25high T cells were enhanced in SIT patients compared to allergic controls. Discussion: These results suggest that the Th2-suppressive capacity of allergen-stimulated CD25pos Treg in vitro is not improved by SIT in spite of increased IL-10 production from T cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-760
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • CD4CD25 regulatory T cells
  • Human
  • IL-10
  • Immunotherapy
  • Suppression

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