Allergen-specific IL-10-secreting type I T regulatory cells, but not CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells, are decreased in peripheral blood of patients with persistent allergic rhinitis

Clin Immunol. 2010 Aug;136(2):292-301. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 Apr 18.


We investigate the frequencies of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells and allergen-specific IL-10(+)IL-4(-), IFN-gamma(+)IL-4(-), IL-4(+)IFN-gamma(-)CD4(+) T cells (which display characteristics of nTreg, Tr1-, Th1- and Th2- cells, respectively) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with AR and of healthy individuals. In addition, we estimated the suppressive effect of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells and allergen-specific, IL-10-secreting cells from both two groups. The frequency of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells is similar in 43 AR patients compared with 38 healthy subjects. CD4(+)CD25(high) cells retain suppressive activity on allergen-stimulated cell proliferation and cytokine production of Th1 but not Th2 cells in both groups. However, the frequency of allergen-specific IL-10(+)IL-4(-)CD4(+) T cells is reduced in AR patients, and correlates inversely to clinical symptom scores. Allergen-specific, IL-10-secreting cells potently suppressed D. pteronyssinus major allergen 1-stimulated cell proliferation and cytokine production (IFN-gamma and IL-4) in healthy individuals. Altogether our data indicate that the number and function of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells from allergic patients are not impaired. However, the deficiency of allergen-specific Tr1 cells may play a role in the development of AR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Th1 Cells
  • Th2 Cells
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Interleukin-10