Background: The importance of dendritic cells (DCs) in the initiation of the Th2-mediated inflammatory response to allergens is well known and more recently it has been proposed that DCs have a pivotal role in maintaining tolerance to allergens. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the success of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in allergic asthma is mediated by the induction of changes of DCs functions. Methods: Ten children with allergic asthma sensitive to house dust mite were studied before and after 12 months of SLIT. Immature DCs were derived from peripheral blood monocytes cultured for 6 days in presence of interleukin (IL)-4 and GM-CSF and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide for the last 24 hours to induce maturation. Results: After 12 months of SLIT, mature DCs derived from SLIT-treated patients showed a statistically significant defect of CD86 up-regulation, an increase of IL-10, and a reduction of IL-12 production. Conclusion: SLIT induces changes in DCs functions that might be responsible for an impairment of T cell activation or drive T cells towards a regulatory activity, thus restoring immune tolerance to allergens.
- dendritic cells
- sublingual immunotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health