A significant increase in expression of FOXP3 and IL-17 genes in patients with allergic rhinitis underwent accelerated rush immunotherapy

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Allergy Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Immunology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Objective(s): Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common hypersensitivity disease worldwide. Immunotherapy has been performed as the best treatment for years. This study aimed to study the gene expression pattern of immune system cells following an accelerated rush immunotherapy protocol (ARIT) in patients with AR.
Materials and Methods: Fifteen patients with AR (15–55 years old) resident in Mashhad, Iran, with positive prick test to regional aeroallergens (weed mix, grass mix, tree mix, and Salsola) enrolled in this study. All patients were treated for three months with 3-day ARIT protocol between July 2015 and August 2016. Clinical symptoms and quality of life were recorded by two questioners. The expression levels of FOXP3, TGF-β, IL-10, IL-17, IL-4, and IFN-γ genes in patient’s peripheral blood mononuclear cells were evaluated by SYBR Green real-time RT-PCR technique.
Results: The severity of disease and quality of life showed significant improvement following ARIT (P-value<0.05). Gene expression of IFN-γ and IL-10 was increased whereas TGF-β and IL-4 down-regulated, following ARIT, but these changes were not significant. However, gene expression of FOXP3 and IL-17 was significantly increased after intervention when compared with the baseline (P-value< 0.002).
Conclusion: Significant up-regulation of FOXP3 and IL-17 genes, additionally, a significant improvement in the clinical signs following ARIT might be related to increases in HLA-DR- and FOXP3+ Treg population at the initiation phase of ARIT. Employing the flow cytometry technique to study the phenotype of these cells is suggested for future studies.


Main Subjects

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