Although the pathogenesis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) likely involves hypersensitivity reactions against exogenous allergens, allergen-specific cellular immune responses have not been studied. We investigated allergen-induced cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in adult patients with EE (n=15) and healthy controls (HC; n=9). PBMCs were incubated with nine common food and environmental allergens or a nonspecific mitogen, and the levels of interleukin (IL)-5, IL-10, IL-13, and interferon-γ in the cell-free supernatants were determined. Spontaneous and mitogen-stimulated cytokine production did not differ between EE and HC. House dust mite, ragweed, Aspergillus, milk, and soy induced significantly higher IL-5 production in EE (P < 0.05). House dust mite also augmented IL-13 production in EE (P < 0.05). Furthermore, PBMCs from three EE patients without allergen-specific IgE vigorously produced IL-5 and IL-13 on allergen stimulation. Thus, immune responses in EE are characterized by enhanced production of Th2-like cytokines against both food and environmental allergens.
- Immunoglobulin E
ASJC Scopus subject areas