Detailed below is a fourth achievement the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) recently presented at the Member Society Symposium at the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCiS) meeting, and how this work fits in with the broader pursuit of tolerance in allergy.
Novel Local and Cellular Biomarkers for Monitoring Allergen-specific Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is well-accepted as a successful strategy to desensitize allergic patients; however methods to monitor allergen-specific immunological responses are less established. Mohamed Shamji, PhD (Imperial College London) presented data from an ITN pilot study that explored a technique to measure time-dependent cellular responses to a grass pollen nasal allergen challenge, which clearly demonstrated a dose-dependent Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS). Using nasal secretions collected post-allergen challenge, analyses revealed mast cell activation as measured by the presence of tryptase as well as clear cytokine patterns in early- (<30 min) and late- (3-24 hrs) phase responses that correlated with the TNSS. Nasal fluid analysis (as opposed to nasal biopsies or blood) enables response assessments at the relevant site (nose) with frequent repetition over a time course, better enabling the identification of local biomarkers to monitor responses to immunotherapy.