Sublingual immunotherapy may affect serum neopterin: preliminary findings

Int Immunopharmacol. 2010 Nov;10(11):1474-6. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.08.021. Epub 2010 Sep 21.


Background: Neopterin is a protein produced by monocytes/macrophages. It has been considered a biomarker of immune activation in several disorders. However, there are few studies in allergic rhinitis (AR). This study evaluated the serum neopterin levels in patients with pollen-induced AR or treated with sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and in healthy subjects.

Methods: 146 subjects (70 males, median age 30.5 years): 56 with moderate-severe persistent AR, 40 with AR and successfully treated with 2 year SLIT, and 50 healthy controls were consecutively evaluated outside the pollen season. A skin prick test and blood sampling for assessing serum neopterin levels were performed in all subjects.

Results: SLIT-treated patients had lower neopterin levels than untreated patients and healthy subjects (respectively p=0.012 and p=0.0001).

Conclusions: Neopterin is a biomarker for immune activation, SLIT may affect serum neopterin probably as a consequence of Treg response to SLIT.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Adult
  • Allergens / administration & dosage*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Neopterin / blood*
  • Pollen / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Allergens
  • Neopterin