Innate immune responses to rhinovirus are reduced by the high-affinity IgE receptor in allergic asthmatic children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Aug;130(2):489-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.05.023. Epub 2012 Jul 4.


Background: Children with allergic asthma have more frequent and severe human rhinovirus (HRV)-induced wheezing and asthma exacerbations through unclear mechanisms.

Objective: We sought to determine whether increased high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) expression and cross-linking impairs innate immune responses to HRV, particularly in allergic asthmatic children.

Methods: PBMCs were obtained from 44 children, and surface expression of FcεRI on plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), myeloid dendritic cells, monocytes, and basophils was assessed by using flow cytometry. Cells were also incubated with rabbit anti-human IgE to cross-link FcεRI, followed by stimulation with HRV-16, and IFN-α and IFN-λ1 production was measured by Luminex. The relationships among FcεRI expression and cross-linking, HRV-induced IFN-α and IFN-λ1 production, and childhood allergy and asthma were subsequently analyzed.

Results: FcεRIα expression on pDCs was inversely associated with HRV-induced IFN-α and IFN-λ1 production. Cross-linking FcεRI before HRV stimulation further reduced PBMC IFN-α (47% relative reduction; 95% CI, 32% to 62%; P< .0001) and IFN-λ1 (81% relative reduction; 95% CI, 69% to 93%; P< .0001) secretion. Allergic asthmatic children had higher surface expression of FcεRIα on pDCs and myeloid dendritic cells when compared with that seen in nonallergic nonasthmatic children. Furthermore, after FcεRI cross-linking, allergic asthmatic children had significantly lower HRV-induced IFN responses than allergic nonasthmatic children (IFN-α, P= .004; IFN-λ1, P= .02) and nonallergic nonasthmatic children (IFN-α, P= .002; IFN-λ1, P= .01).

Conclusions: Allergic asthmatic children have impaired innate immune responses to HRV that correlate with increased FcεRI expression on pDCs and are reduced by FcεRI cross-linking. These effects likely increase susceptibility to HRV-induced wheezing and asthma exacerbations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / immunology
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / pharmacology
  • Asthma / genetics
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / virology
  • Basophils / metabolism
  • Basophils / pathology
  • Basophils / virology
  • Child
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Dendritic Cells / virology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics*
  • Interferon-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-alpha / immunology
  • Interferons
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Male
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Monocytes / virology
  • Picornaviridae Infections / genetics
  • Picornaviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / virology
  • Receptors, IgE / genetics
  • Receptors, IgE / immunology*
  • Respiratory Sounds / genetics
  • Respiratory Sounds / immunology*
  • Rhinovirus / immunology


  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • interferon-lambda, human
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, IgE
  • anti-IgE antibodies
  • Interferons