Phenotypic and functional alterations of regulatory B cell subsets in adult allergic asthma patients

Mathew Wiest, Katherine Upchurch, Md Mahmudul Hasan, Jacob Cardenas, Bobby Lanier, Mark Millard, Jacob Turner, Sang Kon Oh, Hye Mee Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: IL-10-producing regulatory B cells (Bregs) are widely ascribed immune regulatory functions. However, Breg subsets in human asthma have not been fully investigated. Objective: We studied Breg subsets in adult allergic asthma patients by assessing two major parameters, frequency and IL-10 expression. We then investigated factors that affect these two parameters in patients. Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of adult allergic asthma patients (N = 26) and non-asthmatic controls (N = 28) were used to assess the frequency of five subsets of transitional B cells (TBs), three subsets of CD24highCD27+B cells and B1 cells. In addition to clinical data, IL-10 expression by individual Breg subsets was assessed by flow cytometry. Results: Asthma patients had decreases of CD5+ and CD1d+CD5+, but an increase of CD27+ TBs which was significant in patients with moderate asthma (60 < FEV1 < 80). Regardless of asthma severity, there was no significant alteration in the frequencies of 6 other Breg subsets tested. However, we found that oral corticosteroid (OCS) significantly affected the frequency of Bregs in Breg subset-specific manners. OCS decreased CD5+ and CD1d+CD5+ TBs, but increased CD27+ TBs and CD10+CD24highCD27+ cells. Furthermore, OCS decreased IL-10 expression by CD27+ TBs, all 3 CD24highCD27+ B cell subsets (CD5+, CD10+ and CD1d+) and B1 cells. OCS-mediated inhibition of IL-10 expression was not observed in the other Breg subsets tested. Conclusion & Clinical Relevance: Alterations in the frequency of Bregs and their ability to express IL-10 are Breg subset-specific. OCS treatment significantly affects the frequency as well as their ability to express IL-10 in Breg subset-specific manners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1214-1224
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • B1
  • Bregs
  • CD24CD27
  • IL-10
  • allergy
  • asthma
  • oral corticosteroid
  • regulatory B cell
  • transitional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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