Allergen-induced activation of natural killer cells represents an early-life immune response in the development of allergic asthma

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Matthew C AltmanJames E Gern


Childhood asthma in inner-city populations is a major public health burden, and understanding early-life immune mechanisms that promote asthma onset is key to disease prevention. Children with asthma demonstrate a high prevalence of aeroallergen sensitization and TH2-type inflammation; however, the early-life immune events that lead to TH2 skewing and disease development are unknown. We sought to use RNA sequencing of PBMCs collected at age 2 years to determine networks of immune responses that occur in children with allergy and asthma. In an inner-city birth cohort with high asthma risk, we compared gene expression using RNA sequencing in PBMCs collected at age 2 years between children with 2 or more aeroallergen sensitizations, including dust mite, cockroach, or both, by age 3 years and asthma by age 7 years (cases) and matched control subjects who did not have any aeroallergen sensitization or asthma by age 7 years. PBMCs from the cases showed higher levels of expression of natural killer (NK) cell-related genes. After cockroach or dust mite allergen but not tetanus antigen stimulation, PBMCs from the cases compared with the control subjects showed differential expression of 244 genes. This gene set included upregulation of ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Bone Diseases, Developmental
Immune Response
Biochemical Pathway
Antigen-Presenting Cells
Sequence Determinations, RNA
Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (Lab Test)
Allergy Testing Dust Mite

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