Sublingual immunotherapy affects specific antibody and TGF-β serum levels in patients with allergic rhinitis

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Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterized by Th2 polarized immune response, such as increased IL-4 and reduced IFN-γ production. Sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy (SLIT) induces several immunological changes, most of which are still little known. The aim of this study is firstly to investigate the changes of allergen-specific IgE, IgG, IgG4, and IgA serum levels after SLIT. Secondly, this study aims at relating immunoglobulin (Ig) values with some Th1-, Th2-, and Treg-dependent cytokines. Twenty-three patients with pollen-induced AR were enrolled, and they assumed two pre-seasonal SLIT courses for 2 years. Serum allergen-specific IgE, IgG, IgG4 and IgA levels were determined by ELISA method at baseline and after each SLIT course. Serum IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-10, and TGF-β levels were also assessed. Allergen-specific IgE, IgG, IgG4, and IgA serum levels significantly increased after SLIT. Serum TGF-β significantly increased after SLIT. There was a significant correlation between IgA and TGF-β, both after the first and the second SLIT course. In conclusion, the present study provides the first evidence that pollen SLIT significantly affects Ig production, mainly concerning IgA; and IgA increase is related with TGF-β production. Moreover, this is the first study that measured Ig classes by using a quantitative method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1096
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • IFN-γ
  • IgA
  • IgE
  • IgG
  • IgG4
  • IL-10
  • Il-4
  • Pollens
  • Serum
  • Sublingual immunotherapy
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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