TGF-beta and IL-17 serum levels and specific immunotherapy

Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Sep;9(10):1247-9. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Jul 19.


Two new T cell subsets may be involved in allergic rhinitis (AR) pathogenesis: Th17 and T regulatory cells, mainly producing IL-17 and TGF-beta respectively. Successful Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) induces relevant immunological changes, thus the aim of this study was to evaluate serum IL-17 and TGF-beta levels in AR patients treated with SLIT for 2 years. Patients' blood samples were collected before initiating SLIT (baseline), three months after the end of the first pre-seasonal SLIT course, and at the end of the second pre-seasonal course. IL-17 was detectable only in the most severe allergic patients. SLIT significantly induced an increase in serum TGF-beta levels. There was moreover a significant relationship between TGF-beta and symptom severity and drug use at the end of the study. Therefore, this study provides clinically relevant evidence that two pre-seasonal SLIT courses may significantly affect serum TGF-beta levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Male
  • Pollen / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / pathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / biosynthesis*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics


  • Allergens
  • Interleukin-17
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta