Patients with food allergies have a lower frequency of regulatory T cells compared with patients who have a food sensitization or are non-allergic, according to recent research.
“Our data suggest that the state of allergen sensitization is associated with depletion of Treg following allergen exposure,” Thanh D Dang, PhD, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues wrote in their study abstract. “Impaired capacity to regenerate the Treg pool following allergen exposure may be an important factor that determines clinical allergy versus sensitization without allergic reaction.”
Dang and colleagues evaluated 37 children with an egg or peanut allergy, 35 patients with an egg or peanut sensitization and 15 patients who were non-sensitive or non-allergic from the HealthNuts study who underwent an oral food challenge, according to the abstract. To study allergen exposure, the researchers analyzed peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) after 1 hour of the oral food challenge and also evaluated regulatory T cells (Tregs) on day 0, day 2 and day 6 after the challenge.
The researchers found that, while there were no changes in Treg frequencies over time for patients who were not allergic, Treg frequencies for food sensitive patients decreased from 6.87% on day 0 to 5.27% on day 2 before returning to 6.5% at day 6. For food allergic patients, Treg decreased from 6.85% on day 0 to 5.4% on day 2 before increasing to 6.2% on day 6. Dang and colleagues noted that the ratio of Treg cells was significantly lower among food allergic patients at day 0 (10.5 ± 0.77) compared with food sensitive (14.6 ± 1.24) and non-allergic patients (16.2 ± 1.23). – by Jeff Craven
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.