Mild to moderate asthma is Th2 driven but the cytokines produced in refractory asthma might not fit the classical Th2 pattern.
This study assessed the cytokine production by sputum and blood cells from 15 refractory asthmatics compared to 15 mild untreated and 17 moderate treated asthmatics and 22 healthy subjects:
- interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10
- tumor necrosis factor alpha
Moderate and refractory asthmatics were both characterized by a lower production of IL-6 from their airway cells compared to healthy subjects.
The three groups of asthmatics exhibited raised production of IL-4 when compared to healthy subjects. Moderate asthmatics exhibited greater production of IL-10 when compared to refractory asthmatics and healthy subjects.
Sputum cells from moderate and refractory asthmatics release less IL-6.
Manise M, Schleich F, Gusbin N, Godinas L, Henket M, Antoine N, Corhay JL, Louis R. Cytokine production from sputum cells and blood leukocytes in asthmatics according to disease severity. Allergy 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02296.x.
Image source: Interleukin 6. Wikipedia, PDB rendering based on 1ALU, public domain.