Background: It has frequently been speculated that pruritus and skin lesions develop after topical exposure to aeroallergens in sensitized patients with atopic dermatitis (AD).
Objective: We sought to study cutaneous reactions to grass pollen in adult patients with AD with accompanying clear IgE sensitization to grass allergen in an environmental challenge chamber using a monocenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study design.
Methods: Subjects were challenged on 2 consecutive days with either 4000 pollen grains/m(3) of Dactylis glomerata pollen or clean air. The severity of AD was assessed at each study visit up to 5 days after challenge by (objective) scoring of AD (SCORAD). Additionally, air-exposed and non-air-exposed skin areas were each scored using local SCORAD scoring and investigator global assessments. Levels of a series of serum cytokines and chemokines were determined by using a Luminex-based immunoassay. The primary end point of the study was the change in objective SCORAD scores between prechallenge and postchallenge values.
Results: Exposure to grass pollen induced a significant worsening of AD. A pronounced eczema flare-up of air-exposed rather than covered skin areas occurred. In grass pollen-exposed subjects a significantly higher increase in CCL17, CCL22, and IL-4 serum levels was observed.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that controlled exposure to airborne allergens of patients with a so-called extrinsic IgE-mediated form of AD induced a worsening of cutaneous symptoms.
Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; environmental challenge chamber; exposure; grass pollen; inhalant allergen.
Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.