A team of immunologists from RUDN University suggested a new tool to control inflammation levels in asthma patients with accompanying diseases. To obtain information about disease flow and risks of complications, they used different types of cytokines found in the patients' nasal swabs. Results of the study were published in the World Allergy Organization Journal.
Cytokines are signal molecules of our immune system which determine the inflammation profile in case of an infection or allergy. Some of the 200 types of cytokines aggravate the inflammation and some mitigate it. Due to the fact, that different cytokines can have the same function, many types can be found in a patient at the same time. The composition and levels of each cytokine type form the so-called cytokine profile. A team of immunologists from RUDN University compared the profiles of asthma patients with accompanying diseases and discovered certain regularities that could help predict disease flow and promptly prevent complications.
Disease flow is determined by peculiarities of respiratory mucosa inflammation, and effective control over the inflammation process depends on the timely evaluation of its activity. Knowing the parameters of local cytokine profiles, a specialist could not only control the efficiency of treatment but also prevent complications and deterioration of the patients' general state."
Prof. Natalia Tataurshchikova, Ph.D. MD, allergologist-immunologist, Head of the Medical and Social Adaptology Department, RUDN University
To analyze cytokine profiles, the team took biological material samples from the nasal cavities of 57 patients who suffered from asthma accompanied by either a specific allergic rhinitis type or hay fewer. This condition is associated with a runny nose, sneezing, and other sensitive reactions to pollen, animal hair, and other allergens. The team also included 25 patients in the study who, in addition to asthma, were diagnosed with herpes and 21 participants diagnosed with blood vessel diseases. Control group consisted of 11 asthma patients without any accompanying conditions.
Using the immunoenzymatic approach, the team measured levels of cytokines that are most typical for allergic rhinitis. These cytokines were IL-4 and IL-10, the ones that limit inflammation spread (as well as IL-2 and IL-8), interferon γ - INF, and tumor necrosis factor (α-TNF) which promote it. Immunologists managed to identify cytokine profile dynamics for different combinations of conditions.
For example, changes in IL-10 and γ - INF levels are typical for asthma patients without underlying conditions; the levels of IL-2 and IL-8 should be measured if a patient has blood vessel diseases, and acute herpes leads to increased IL-8 levels, reduced γ - INF level, and changes in α-TNF. Using this data, one could monitor the disease flow. For example, an increase in α-TNF levels may indicate that the disease is transferring into a chronic form. Doctor may be able to timely identify dangerous tendencies and prevent complications by means of analyzing the cytokine profile of a certain patient.
"Taking swabs from mucous membranes and enzyme immunoassay are quite simple and cheap procedures. We believe it is important to include them in diagnostics and management protocols of various asthma phenotypes, including asthma, accompanied by allergic rhinitis," added Prof. Natalia Tataurshchikova from RUDN University.
Tataurshchikova, N & Berezhanskiy, P (2020) Local cytokine profile as an effective inflammation control tool among patients, suffering from bronchial asthma and various allergic rhinitis phenotypes. World Allergy Organization Journal. doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100141.