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Functional interleukin-5 activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from adolescents with mite antigen asthma in remission


Noma Department of Paediatrics, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228, Japan



Asthma improves in most children during adolescence such that a small minority of patients exhibit clinically significant symptoms by the age of 20 years.

Objective and methods

To investigate late allergic reactions, including eosinophil inflammation, associated with outgrowing mite antigen-induced bronchial asthma during adolescence, the relationship between clinical status and functional activity of interleukin (IL)-5 produced by Dermatophagoides farinae (Df)-stimulated peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in culture was assessed in mouse IL-3-dependent cells transfected with the human IL-5 receptor gene.


Activity of IL-5 spontaneously produced by PBMCs from either patients with mite-sensitive bronchial asthma or nonatopic control subjects was low. The activity of IL-5 produced by PBMCs stimulated with concanavalin A was significantly higher. Upon challenge with specific allergens, such as Df antigen, but not with irrelevant antigens, including ovalbumin, the in vitro activity was increased in patients with active disease and decreased in patients in remission.


Results suggest that the antigen-specific up-regulation of functional IL-5 activity in late allergic reactions is reduced in patients in remission and likely to result in an improvement in clinical status. The Df antigen may suppress Df-induced responses in patients with asthma in remission.