Author(s): Barberi S, Villa MP, Pajno GB, La Penna F, Barreto M
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterized by Th2 polarized immune response. Specific immunotherapy modifies this arrangement restoring a physiologic Th1 profile. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is widely prescribed, but there is no early marker of response. The aim of this study is to investigate possible marker of SLIT effectiveness. Thirty children with mite allergy were studied: 15 were treated with drugs alone, 15 with SLIT and drugs on demand. The study lasted 2 years. Visual analogue scale (VAS) for symptoms and medication score were evaluated. Serum cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IFN-gamma, MCP-1, and TNF-alpha) were assessed by ELISA before and after 1 and 2 year SLIT. SLIT-treated children obtained a significant improvement of symptoms and a reduction of drug use, whereas children treated with a drug alone did not obtained any change. IL-10 significantly increased, whereas Th2-dependent and pro-inflammatory cytokines significantly decreased. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that 2-year SLIT is capable of inducing immunologic hyporeactivity to mites.