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Characterization of oral immune cells in birch pollen-allergic patients: impact of the oral allergy syndrome and sublingual allergen immunotherapy on antigen-presenting cells

Journal article
Authors L. Mascarell
Sabina Rak
M. Worm
M. Melac
S. Soulie
G. Lescaille
F. Lemoine
F. Jospin
S. Paul
L. Caplier
Bengt Hasséus
C. Bjorhn
R. K. Zeldin
V. Baron-Bodo
P. Moingeon
Published in Allergy
Volume 70
Issue 4
Pages 408-419
ISSN 0105-4538
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 408-419
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.12576
Keywords birch allergy, IgE, macrophages, mucosal immunity, sublingual allergen immunotherapy, DENDRITIC CELLS, T-CELLS, EFFICACY, TOLERANCE, RHINOCONJUNCTIVITIS, SAFETY, METAANALYSIS, MECHANISMS, INDUCTION, RHINITIS, Allergy, Immunology
Subject categories Dentistry

Abstract

Background: A detailed characterization of human oral immune cells is needed to better understand local mechanisms associated with allergen capture following oral exposure. Methods: Oral immune cells were characterized by immunohistology and immunofluorescence in biopsies obtained from three healthy individuals and 23 birch pollen-allergic patients with/without oral allergy syndrome (OAS), at baseline and after 5 months of sublingual allergen immunotherapy (AIT). Results: Similar cell subsets (i.e., dendritic cells, mast cells, and T lymphocytes) were detected in oral tissues from healthy and birch pollen-allergic individuals. CD207(+) Langerhans cells (LCs) and CD11c(+) myeloid dendritic cells (DCs) were found in both the epithelium and the papillary layer of the Lamina propria (LP), whereas CD68(+) macrophages, CD117(+) mast cells, and CD4(+)/CD8(+) T cells were rather located in both the papillary and reticular layers of the LP. Patterns of oral immune cells were identical in patients with/without OAS, except lower numbers of CD207(+) LCs found in oral tissues from patients with OAS, when compared to OAS(-) patients (P < 0.05). A 5-month sublingual AIT had a limited impact on oral immune cells, with only a significant increase in IgE(+) cells in patients from the active group. Colocalization experiments confirmed that such IgE-expressing cells mostly encompass CD68(+) macrophages located in the LP, and to a lesser extent CD207(+) LCs in the epithelium. Conclusion: Two cell subsets contribute to antigen/allergen uptake in human oral tissues, including (i) CD207(+) LCs possibly involved in the physiopathology of OAS and (ii) CD68(+) macrophages likely critical in allergen capture via IgE-facilitated mechanisms during sublingual AIT.

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