Allergen-specific immunotherapy alters the expression of B and T lymphocyte attenuator, a co-inhibitory molecule, in allergic rhinitis

Mitsuhiro Okano, N. Otsuki, M. Azuma, T. Fujiwara, S. Kariya, Y. Sugata, T. Higaki, K. Kino, Y. Tanimoto, K. Okubo, Kazunori Nishizaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: B7/CD28 family co-signalling molecules play a key role in regulating T cell activation and tolerance. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) alters allergen-specific T cell responses. However, the effect of SIT on the expression of various co-signalling molecules has not been clarified. Objective: We sought to determine whether SIT might affect the expression of three co-inhibitory molecules, programmed death (PD)-1, B7-H1 and B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA), in Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP). Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from JCP patients who had or had not received SIT. PBMC were cultured in the presence or absence of Cry j 1, after which the cell surface expression of PD-1, B7-H1 and BTLA, as well as IL-5 production, were determined. In addition, the effect of BTLA cross-linking on IL-5 production was examined. Results: After Cry j 1 stimulation, no significant differences in PD-1 and B7-H1 expression were observed between SIT-treated and SIT-untreated patients. BTLA expression was down-regulated in untreated patients after Cry j 1 stimulation and up-regulated in SIT-treated patients. Up-regulation of BTLA in SIT-treated patients was particularly apparent in a CD4+ T cell subset. IL-5 production was clearly reduced among SIT-treated patients, and the observed changes in BTLA expression correlated negatively with IL-5 production. Moreover, immobilization of BTLA suppressed IL-5 production in JCP patients. Conclusion: These results suggest that both IL-5 production and down-regulation of BTLA in response to allergen are inhibited in SIT-treated patients with JCP. BTLA-mediated co-inhibition of IL-5 production may contribute to the regulation of allergen-specific T cell responses in patients receiving immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1891-1900
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Allergen immunotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • BTLA
  • Cry j 1
  • IL-5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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