Peripheral blood monocyte (PBM) subsets play different roles in inflammatory response and tissue remodelling. The aim of this study was to investigate how allergen challenge affects the number of circulating PBMs in Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dp) allergic patients (Dp-APs). Among 34 Dp-APs challenged, in 22 patients significant bronchoconstriction was demonstrated [responders (Rs)], while in 12, only upper respiratory symptoms were seen [non-responders (NRs)]. Twelve healthy, non-atopic subjects were used as controls (HCs). Expression of CD14, CD16 and CCR4 was evaluated by flow cytometry on the whole-blood samples before (T(0) ), 6 h (T(6) ) and 24 h (T(24) ) after the challenge. Plasma concentrations of CCL2, CX3CL1 and CCL17 were evaluated using ELISA. At T(0) , the mean percentage of CD14++ CD16+ PBMs in Rs (35.4%; 95%CI 26.9-43.9%) was significantly greater than in HCs (14.6%; 95%CI 7.3-21.8%; P = 0.006) and in NRs (17.5%; 95%CI 9.6-25.4%; P = 0.001). The baseline number of CD14++ CD16+ PBMs correlated with airway hyper responsiveness (AHR) (r = -0.507; 95%CI -0.834 to -0.432, P < 0.001). At T(24) , the number of CD14++ CD16+ PBMs significantly decreased in Rs but not in NRs and the numbers inversely correlated with plasma CCL17 concentration. Changes in the number of circulating CD14++ CD16+ cells after Dp challenge correlated with AHR (r = 0.706, 95%CI 0.43-0.861; P < 0.001). In all subjects, the greatest expression of CCR4 was found on CD14++ CD16+ PBMs. Expansion of CD14++ CD16+ monocytes in the peripheral blood with subsequent mobilization of those cells after allergen challenge may facilitate the development of AHR in Dp-APs.
© 2012 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.