Background Mononuclear phagocytes play an important role in modulating inflammatory reactions in response to antigen challenge.
Objective To investigate the regulation of CD163, a marker of anti-inflammatory macrophages, during Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dp)-induced bronchoconstriction.
Methods Among 110 Dp-sensitive patients who underwent bronchial challenge with Dp, there were 51 dual responders (DR), 32 single responders (SR) and 27 non-responders (NR). Monocyte expression of CD14 and CD163 was evaluated by flow cytometry. Exhaled NO (eNO) concentration was determined on-line using a chemiluminescence analyser. In 21 DR, nine SR and 13 NR-soluble CD163 in plasma was measured by ELISA before, 1, 8 and 24 h after the challenge.
Results In DR, the baseline expression of monocyte CD163 and eNO were significantly greater than in SR and NR. A pattern of (1) decreased monocyte CD163 expression, (2) unchanged sCD163 and (3) increased eNO in DR was contrasted by a pattern of (1) increased CD163 expression, (2) increased sCD163 and (3) unchanged eNO in SR. During allergen challenge, the changes in monocyte CD163 expression and sCD163 inversely correlated with the changes in eNO.
Conclusion Both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses to allergen challenge are uniquely expressed among SR and DR.