High-altitude climate therapy is a well-established therapeutic option, which improves clinical symptoms in asthma. However, little is known about the underlying immunological mechanisms. The study investigates the influence of high-altitude climate therapy on airway inflammation and cellular components of specific and unspecific immune response. Exhaled NO significantly decreased within 3 weeks of therapy in patients with allergic and intrinsic, moderate and severe asthma. Interleukin-10 (IL-10)-secreting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) increased within 3 weeks of therapy in six of 11 patients, whereas transforming growth factor-beta(1)-secreting PBMC remained stable. Furthermore, monocyte activation, assessed by CD80 expression significantly decreased during therapy. The frequency of CRTH2-expressing T cells decreased, while regulatory T cells (T(reg)) remained stable. FOXP3 and GATA-3 mRNA expression in CD4(+) T cells did not change, while interferon-gamma and IL-13 mRNA expression decreased in eight of 10 patients. The current data demonstrate that high-altitude climate therapy reduces local airway inflammation. Furthermore, monocytes switch towards a tolerogenic phenotype under high-altitude climate therapy. The T(reg)/Th2 ratio increases; however, because of the absence of antigens/allergens, no de novo differentiation of Th2 nor T(reg) cells is observed. The high-altitude climate therapy therefore may form the immunological basis for the endogenous control of allergen-driven diseases.