Serum levels of soluble CD23 in patients with asthma or rhinitis monosensitive to Parietaria. Its relation to total serum IgE levels and eosinophil cationic protein during and out of the pollen season

Allergy Asthma Proc. Mar-Apr 1999;20(2):119-25. doi: 10.2500/108854199778612590.


The diagnostic value for allergies of the low affinity IgE receptor and its soluble circulating fragment (sCD23) remains unclear. In particular, little is know about seasonal influences on serum sCD23 levels in subjects with pollen allergy. In the present study, to gain insight into pathophysiological role of sCD23, we have analyzed, in blood from patients allergic to Parietaria sCD23, IgE, and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) serum levels. IgE were assessed as atopy markers and ECP as an inflammation marker. Patients were studied during and out of pollen season, and results were compared to those obtained in nonallergic subjects. The study population included 42 nonsmoking outpatients, living in Palermo (Sicily, Italy) or in other west Sicilian towns, with a clinical diagnosis of seasonal asthma or rhinitis and monopositive skin test to Parietaria pollen. The group of asthmatic subjects consisted of 25 patients who had one or more of the usual asthma symptoms (wheezing, dyspnea, and cough) only during the pollen season. The group of rhinitis patients consisted of 17 patients, who, during pollen season, had the nasal symptoms (nasal blockage, sneezing, nasal itching, and rhinorrhoea) but no signs of asthma. As a control group, we studied 10 nonatopic subjects from laboratory staff. They had no history of seasonal or perennial rhinitis, asthma, or urticaria and had negative skin tests to a panel of allergens. Soluble CD23, IgE, and ECP were assessed in blood during and out of pollen season. Total serum IgE levels were clearly higher in atopic patients, as classically established. Concerning sCD23 serum levels, a similar pattern of results was obtained. Accordingly, significant correlations were shown between the levels of sCD23 and IgE in all groups of patients. A completely different pattern was observed by analyzing serum ECP levels because ECP levels were significantly increased only in asthmatic patients during pollen season. Accordingly, no significant correlations were observed between the levels of sCD23 and those of ECP. Identifying immune factors associated with the development of atopy can enhance our understanding of the in vivo mechanisms involved and may have utility in paradigms designed to prevent diseases. As demonstrated by the close correlation with total serum IgE values and the lack of correlation with serum ECP values, serum levels of sCD23 appear to be an additional marker for the diagnosis of atopy but not for the follow-up of allergic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Asthma / blood*
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Proteins / immunology*
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Receptors, IgE / blood*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology*
  • Ribonucleases*
  • Solubility


  • Allergens
  • Blood Proteins
  • Eosinophil Granule Proteins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Par j I protein, Parietaria judaica
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, IgE
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ribonucleases