Serum transforming growth factor-β levels depend on allergen exposure in allergic rhinitis

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Background:Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterized by inflammation sustained by dysregulated immune response. T-regulatory cells are involved in AR pathogenesis, mainly producing IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. Indeed, there is a functional and allergen-specific defect of T-regulatory cells in AR. However, there are no data about the influence of allergen exposure on TGF-β serum levels. Therefore, the aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate TGF-β serum levels in patients with seasonal AR. Patients were evaluated either outside the pollen season and after 1 preseasonal sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) course (38 subjects) or during the pollen season (57 subjects). Methods:All patients were allergic to Parietaria and/or grasses alone. TGF-β was measured by a commercially available kit. Symptoms, drug use and eosinophils were evaluated.Serum allergen-specific IgG and IgA levels were also measured by the ELISA method. Results:TGF-β serum levels were significantly lower in patients evaluated outside the pollen season in comparison with the other 2 situations. SLIT induced the significantly highest TGF-β serum levels. There was a significant negative relationship between TGF-β and eosinophils in patients after SLIT. IgG and IgA levels were higher in SLIT-treated patients. Conclusion: This preliminary study provides evidence that TGF-β serum levels are significantly dependent on allergen exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Pollen season
  • Sublingual immunotherapy
  • Transforming growth factor-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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