New therapeutic approaches with biologic agents such as anti-cytokine antibodies are currently on trial for the treatment of asthma, rhinosinusitis or allergic diseases necessitating patient selection by biomarkers. Allergic rhinitis (AR), affecting about 20 % of the Canadian population, is an inflammatory disease characterised by a disequilibrium of T-lymphocytes and tissue eosinophilia. Aim of the present study was to describe distinct cytokine patterns in nasal secretion between seasonal and perennial AR (SAR/PAR), and healthy controls by comparing cytokines regulating T-cells or stimulating inflammatory cells, and chemokines.
Nasal secretions of 44 participants suffering from SAR, 45 participants with PAR and 48 healthy controls were gained using the cotton wool method, and analysed for IL-1β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, GM-CSF, G-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, eotaxin, and RANTES by Bio-Plex Cytokine Assay as well as for ECP and tryptase by UniCAP-FEIA.
Participants with SAR or PAR presented elevated levels of tryptase, ECP, MCP-1, and MIP-1β, while values of GM-CSF, G-CSF, IL-1β, and IL-6 did not differ from the controls. Increased levels of IL-5, eotaxin, MIP-1α, and IL-17 and decreased levels of IFN-γ, IL-12 and IL-10 were found in SAR only. RANTES was elevated in SAR in comparison to PAR. Interestingly, we found reduced levels of IL-4 in PAR and of IL-13 in SAR.
Elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines were seen in both disease entities. They were, however, more pronounced in SAR, indicating a higher degree of inflammation. This study suggests a downregulation of TH1 and Treg-lymphocytes and an upregulation of TH17 in SAR. Moreover, the results display a prominent role of eosinophils and mast cells in AR. The observed distinct cytokine profiles in nasal secretion may prove useful as a diagnostic tool helping to match patients to antibody therapies.