Publications by authors named "Luo Zhang"

515 Publications

Serum immunoglobulin G4 has limited diagnostic value in immunoglobulin G4-related chronic rhinosinusitis.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2021 Oct 21. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

Department of Allergy, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, No. 1, DongJiaoMinXiang, DongCheng District, Beijing, 100005, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: To investigate the profiles and factors influencing serum IgG4 levels and evaluate the diagnostic value of serum IgG4 in IgG4-related CRS.

Methods: This was a prospective study analyzing data from 288 hospitalized CRS patients who had undergone endoscopic sinus surgery from July 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018. Data were analyzed for correlations between elevated serum IgG4 concentrations (> 135 mg/dL) and clinical symptoms (nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, loss of smell, headache and/or facial pain), endoscopic presentation (Lund-Kennedy scores), allergic status (total and allergen-specific IgE), and pathological features (IgG4+ and IgG+ cells).

Results: Overall, 43/288 (14.9%) CRS patients had elevated serum IgG4 levels > 135 mg/dL. Comparison of the clinical parameters between patients with elevated and normal serum IgG4 levels demonstrated serum total IgE levels to be significantly different (P = 0.003) between the two groups; and significantly correlated with serum IgG4 level in CRS subjects (P = 0.000; r = 0.232), particularly CRS patients with nasal polyps (P = 0.000; r = 0.259). In contrast, the ratio of plasmocyte/inflammatory cells and IgG4+ cells/IgG+ plasmocytes, and IgG4+ plasma cells/HPF in sinus mucosa were not significantly different between the groups and no patient with elevated serum IgG4 demonstrated ratio of IgG4+ /IgG+ cells > 40% or > 10 IgG4+ plasma cells/HPF.

Conclusion: Serum IgG4 concentration is not related to the clinical phenotype of CRS and is likely to be of limited value when used alone in the diagnosis of IgG4-related CRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00405-021-07083-yDOI Listing
October 2021

Comparative analysis of chronic rhinitis patient profiles during autumn pollen season between grassland and non-grassland cities in North China.

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2021 Oct 11;17(1):106. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tong Ren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Background: The symptoms of patients with respiratory disease are influenced by local environmental factors. The incidence of allergic rhinitis in grassland areas was significantly higher than that in non-grassland areas. We aimed to compare the profiles of chronic rhinitis patients obtained during the autumn pollen season in Baotou (grassland city) and Beijing (non-grassland city), China.

Methods: Questionnaire surveys and allergen testing were conducted on 1170 and 1232 patients with chronic rhinitis visiting the Second Affiliated Hospital of Baotou Medical College and Beijing Tongren Hospital, respectively, during the autumn pollen period. Information regarding medical history, severity of symptoms, and diagnosis and treatment was collected.

Results: More patients with moderate to severe chronic rhinitis and asthma (both, P < 0.001) were present in Baotou than in Beijing. Mugwort was the most abundant allergen in both regions, but the number of patients sensitized to outdoor allergens in Baotou was higher than that in Beijing (P < 0.001). Indoor allergens in Beijing represented a considerable proportion of allergens, especially dust mites (33.4%). For patients with allergic rhinitis, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and runny nose were more severe in Baotou than in Beijing (P < 0.001). In both Baotou and Beijing, allergy (P < 0.001 vs. P = 0.004) and combined asthma (P = 0.049 vs. P = 0.005) were common factors affecting the severity of the clinical symptoms chronic rhinitis. In Baotou, age (r = 0.195, P < 0.001) and family allergy history (P = 0.010) were also associated with symptom severity. Although significantly more patients in Baotou received oral antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and surgical treatment than in Beijing (P < 0.001), the number of people receiving allergy immunotherapy in Baotou was lower (P = 0.004) and post-treatment symptom control was worse (P < 0.001) that that in Beijing.

Conclusions: During the pollen period, there were significant differences in the allergen spectrum between Baotou and Beijing. Allergy and combined asthma were common factors affecting the severity of clinical symptoms. Patients in Baotou presented with more severe clinical symptoms that were not satisfactorily managed due to the impact of pollen exposure, inconsistent access to care, and differing treatment modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13223-021-00591-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8503993PMC
October 2021

Predictive value of clinical characteristics in eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps: A cross-sectional study in the Chinese population.

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2021 Sep 26. Epub 2021 Sep 26.

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Background: Eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (ECRSwNP) is a refractory subtype of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), with clinical characteristics differing from those of non-ECRSwNP. We aimed to explore the predictive value of clinical characteristics, including medical history, symptoms, and signs, prior to ECRSwNP diagnosis, and to develop a nomogram for use in clinical practice.

Methods: A total of 502 patients with CRSwNP were enrolled. Based on the degree of eosinophilic infiltration in nasal polyps (NPs), patients were classified as ECRSwNP or non-ECRSwNP group. Participants' demographic characteristics, asthma history, severity of nasal symptoms (nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea, hyposmia, and facial pain/headache) according to the visual analog scale, and nasal polyp scores based on polyp scoring system were recorded. Logistic regression analysis was performed to screen for independent risk factors, and a model nomogram was constructed.

Results: The percentage of asthmatic patients and the hyposmia, rhinorrhea, and total nasal symptom scores were significantly higher in ECRSwNP patients than that in non-ECRSwNP patients. The nasal polyp score was lower in the eosinophilic group than that in the non-eosinophilic group. Logistic regression analysis revealed that asthma history and hyposmia, rhinorrhea and nasal polyp scores were independent predictors of ECRSwNP. A nomogram consisting of these four independent risk factors was constructed, and its C-index was 0.808 (95% CI, 0.771 to 0.846).

Conclusions: The nomogram based on asthma history and olfactory, rhinorrhea, and nasal polyp scores could help predict ECRSwNP, providing a simple, fast, and practical way to distinguish ECRSwNP from non-ECRSwNP cases in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alr.22901DOI Listing
September 2021

Physical activity in asthma control and its immune modulatory effect in asthmatic preschoolers.

Allergy 2021 Sep 21. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland.

Background: The impact of physical activity on immune response is a hot topic in exercise immunology, but studies involving asthmatic children are scarce. Our aims were to examine whether there were any differences in the level of physical activity and daily TV attendance, to assess its role on asthma control and immune responses to various immune stimulants.

Methods: Weekly physical activity and daily television attendance were obtained from questionnaires at inclusion of the PreDicta study. PBMC cultures were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA), R848, poly I:C, and zymosan. A panel of cytokines was measured and quantified in cell culture supernatants using luminometric multiplex immunofluorescence beads-based assay.

Results: Asthmatic preschoolers showed significantly more TV attendance than their healthy peers (58.6% vs. 41.5% 1-3 h daily and only 25.7% vs. 47.2% ≤1 h daily) and poor asthma control was associated with less frequent physical activity (PA) (75% no or occasional activity in uncontrolled vs. 20% in controlled asthma; 25% ≥3 times weekly vs. 62%). Asthmatics with increased PA exhibited elevated cytokine levels in response to polyclonal stimulants, suggesting a readiness of circulating immune cells for type 1, 2, and 17 cytokine release compared to subjects with low PA and high TV attendance. This may also represent a proinflammatory state in high PA asthmatic children. Low physical activity and high TV attendance were associated with a decrease in proinflammatory cytokines. Proinflammatory cytokines were correlating with each other in in vitro immune responses of asthmatic children, but not healthy controls, this correlation was more pronounced in children with sedentary behavior.

Conclusion: Asthmatic children show more sedentary behavior than healthy subjects, while poor asthma control is associated with a substantial decrease in physical activity. Our results suggest that asthmatic children may profit from regular exercise, as elevated cytokine levels in stimulated conditions indicate an immune system prepared for responding strongly in case of different types of infections. However, it has to be considered that a hyperinflammatory state in high PA may not be beneficial in asthmatic children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15105DOI Listing
September 2021

Changes in volatile flavor of yak meat during oxidation based on multi-omics.

Food Chem 2021 Sep 8;371:131103. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

School of Public Health, The Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Monitoring and Disease Control, Ministry of Education, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550000, China. Electronic address:

Hydroxyl radical system combined with GC-IMS and metabolomics were used to assess the effect of oxidation on the formation of volatile flavor emitted from yak meat. The formation of volatile compounds, including heptanal, octanal, nonanal, 2,3-glutaraldehyde, 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, etc. were promoted by oxidation. Among them, 2,3-pentanedione and 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, etc. maybe contributed most to the overall aroma of yak meat, while octanal, nonanal and benzaldehyde maybe related to the formation of off-odor or acidification. Meanwhile, the content of metabolites such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, etc. fatty acids and 3-dehydromangiferic acid, tyrosine were increased or decreased with the time of oxidation. More importantly, the formation of most flavor components in yak meat during the course of oxidation were related to stearidonic acid, acetylleucine, dehydroshikimate, 6-phosphate-glucose etc. differential metabolic components. Moreover, starch and sucrose metabolism (prediction), and amino acid metabolism (enrichment) etc. pathways maybe related with the process of oxidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.131103DOI Listing
September 2021

Trends in the biological functions and medical applications of extracellular vesicles and analogues.

Acta Pharm Sin B 2021 Aug 10;11(8):2114-2135. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China.

Natural extracellular vesicles (EVs) play important roles in many life processes such as in the intermolecular transfer of substances and genetic information exchanges. Investigating the origins and working mechanisms of natural EVs may provide an understanding of life activities, especially regarding the occurrence and development of diseases. Additionally, due to their vesicular structure, EVs (in small molecules, nucleic acids, proteins, etc.) could act as efficient drug-delivery carriers. Herein, we describe the sources and biological functions of various EVs, summarize the roles of EVs in disease diagnosis and treatment, and review the application of EVs as drug-delivery carriers. We also assess the challenges and perspectives of EVs in biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2021.03.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424226PMC
August 2021

Advances and highlights in biomarkers of allergic diseases.

Allergy 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland.

During the past years, there has been a global outbreak of allergic diseases, presenting a considerable medical and socioeconomical burden. A large fraction of allergic diseases is characterized by a type 2 immune response involving Th2 cells, type 2 innate lymphoid cells, eosinophils, mast cells, and M2 macrophages. Biomarkers are valuable parameters for precision medicine as they provide information on the disease endotypes, clusters, precision diagnoses, identification of therapeutic targets, and monitoring of treatment efficacies. The availability of powerful omics technologies, together with integrated data analysis and network-based approaches can help the identification of clinically useful biomarkers. These biomarkers need to be accurately quantified using robust and reproducible methods, such as reliable and point-of-care systems. Ideally, samples should be collected using quick, cost-efficient and noninvasive methods. In recent years, a plethora of research has been directed toward finding novel biomarkers of allergic diseases. Promising biomarkers of type 2 allergic diseases include sputum eosinophils, serum periostin and exhaled nitric oxide. Several other biomarkers, such as pro-inflammatory mediators, miRNAs, eicosanoid molecules, epithelial barrier integrity, and microbiota changes are useful for diagnosis and monitoring of allergic diseases and can be quantified in serum, body fluids and exhaled air. Herein, we review recent studies on biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, chronic urticaria, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, food allergies, anaphylaxis, drug hypersensitivity and allergen immunotherapy. In addition, we discuss COVID-19 and allergic diseases within the perspective of biomarkers and recommendations on the management of allergic and asthmatic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15089DOI Listing
September 2021

Involvement of the extracellular matrix proteins periostin and tenascin C in nasal polyp remodeling by regulating the expression of MMPs.

Clin Transl Allergy 2021 Aug 6;11(7):e12059. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology Upper Airways Research Laboratory Ghent University Hospital Ghent Belgium.

Background: Tissue remodeling caused by increased MMPs is involved in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP). We previously found higher levels of periostin and tenascin C in CRSwNPs, but whether they are associated with the dysregulation of MMPs is unknown. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the regulatory roles of these two ECM proteins in the expression of MMPs in nasal polyps.

Methods: The concentrations of MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-12, MMP-13, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TIMP-3, TIMP-4, periostin, and tenascin C in tissue homogenates of 51 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps and 15 control subjects were measured and were analyzed by adjusted logistic regression and spearman correlation test. Primary human nasal polyp fibroblasts and epithelial cells were stimulated ex vivo with periostin and tenascin C and the gene expression of MMPs and TIMPs was determined by means of real-time PCR.

Results: The protein levels of MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, periostin, and tenascin C were significantly higher in patients with CRSwNPs than in healthy control subjects. The adjusted logistic regression analyses showed that MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, TIMP-2, periostin, and tenascin C were related to the occurrence of CRSwNP. Spearman correlation test showed periostin was positively correlated with MMP-3 and TIMP-2, and tenascin C was positively correlated with MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-2. Periostin stimulated the gene expression of MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in fibroblasts and MMP-9 in epithelial cells ex vivo. Tenascin C stimulated the expression of MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in epithelial cells. The expression of TIMPs in fibroblasts and epithelial cells was affected by neither periostin nor tenascin C.

Conclusions: Periostin and tenascin C might be involved in the remodeling of nasal polyps by regulating the expression of different MMPs in epithelial cells and fibroblasts. Our findings have the potential to identify key factors of tissue remodeling in CRSwNPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8420995PMC
August 2021

Arachidonic Acid 15-Lipoxygenase: Effects of Its Expression, Metabolites, and Genetic and Epigenetic Variations on Airway Inflammation.

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res 2021 Sep;13(5):684-696

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Arachidonic acid 15-lipoxygenase (ALOX15) is an enzyme that can oxidize polyunsaturated fatty acids. ALOX15 is strongly expressed in airway epithelial cells, where it catalyzes the conversion of arachidonic acid to 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) involved in various airway inflammatory diseases. Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 induce ALOX15 expression by activating Jak2 and Tyk2 kinases as well as signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) 1/3/5/6. ALOX15 up-regulation and subsequent association with phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 (PEBP1) activate the mitogen-activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway, thus inducing eosinophil-mediated airway inflammation. In addition, ALOX15 plays a significant role in promoting the migration of immune cells, such as immature dendritic cells, activated T cells, and mast cells, and airway remodeling, including goblet cell differentiation. Genome-wide association studies have revealed multiple ALOX15 variants and their significant correlation with the risk of developing airway diseases. The epigenetic modifications of the gene, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, have been shown to closely relate with airway inflammation. This review summarizes the role of ALOX15 in different phenotypes of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic rhinosinusitis, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, and nasal polyps, suggesting new treatment strategies for these airway inflammatory diseases with complex etiology and poor treatment response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4168/aair.2021.13.5.684DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419644PMC
September 2021

Formation of organic chloramines during chlorination of 18 compounds.

Water Res 2021 Oct 19;204:117570. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

Department of Applied Chemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China. Electronic address:

Organic chloramines have attracted considerable attention because of their potential toxicity and reactivity. However, the lack of suitable and effective analytical methods has limited the study of organic chloramines due to their volatile and unstable properties. In this study, membrane introduction mass spectrometry (MIMS) combined with DPD/FAS titration was used to monitor the formation of organic chloramines. N-chlorodimethylamine [(CH)NCl] and N-chlorodiethylamine [(CH)NCl] were detected and identified as the dominant volatile DBPs during chlorination of 18 organic compounds with dimethylamine or diethylamine functional groups, with yields ranging from 0.3% to 51.1% at a chlorine to precursor (Cl/P) molar ratio of 8.0. (CH)NBr was formed in the presence of bromide, while the formation of (CH)NCl was decreased. The reaction of phenol with (CH)NCl combined with theoretical calculations confirmed that the reactivity of (CH)NCl was similar to that of monochloramine. Moreover, (CH)NCl and (CH)NCl were observed at the ppb level during chlorination of actual water samples collected from different areas. The results suggest that (CH)NCl and (CH)NCl are important organic chloramines during chlorination, which may lead to the occurrence of further oxidation reactions and promote the formation of other disinfection byproducts simultaneously and should be of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.117570DOI Listing
October 2021

Prevalence and risk factors of allergic rhinitis and asthma in the southern edge of the plateau grassland region of northern China: A cross-sectional study.

World Allergy Organ J 2021 Jul 25;14(7):100537. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Nasal Diseases, Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology, Beijing, China.

Background: The prevalence rates of allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma in the border region of China may be different from those in the central region of plateau grasslands. A survey was performed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors for AR, asthma, and AR combined with asthma among adults (age ≥ 20 years) residing in the southern border of plateau grasslands in northern China.

Methods: From May to August 2018, a cross-sectional survey was completed by subjects that were selected using a cluster random sampling method. The subjects completed a questionnaire and were administered skin prick tests (SPTs). Risk factors for AR, asthma, and AR combined with asthma were examined by multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results: A total of 1815 adult subjects in the selected region completed study. The prevalence rates of physician-diagnosed AR, asthma, and AR combined with asthma were 13.9% (253), 9.8% (177), and 2.9% (52), respectively. Among the patients with AR, 20.6% were found to have concurrent asthma; among the patients with asthma, 29.4% were found to have concurrent AR. and pollen were the most common sensitizing pollen types. Approximately 70% of subjects with AR and <30% of asthma patients were sensitized to and pollen. Symptoms of AR and asthma mainly appeared during August. A multivariable logistic regression analysis identified sensitization pollen as an independent risk factor for both AR and AR combined with asthma (AR: OR = 16.23, 95% CI: 10.15-25.96; AR combined with asthma: OR = 6.16, 95% CI: 1.28-29.66). An age >40 years old, family history of asthma, moderate-to-severe AR, adverse food reactions, and mold allergies were independent risk factors for AR combined with asthma.

Conclusions: This study identified the prevalence rates of AR and asthma in the southern borders of the plateau grassland in northern China (>1500 m above sea level). Sensitization pollen is an independent risk factor for AR and AR combined with asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2021.100537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8356121PMC
July 2021

Relationship between traditional maternal diet pattern and breastmilk composition of rural lactating women during the first month postpartum in Shigatse, Tibet.

Food Sci Nutr 2021 Aug 3;9(8):4185-4198. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

National Engineering Center of Dairy for Maternal and Child Health Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co. Ltd. Beijing China.

Maternal nutrition can influence the composition of human breastmilk by altering the components that are sensitive to maternal diet pattern. Traditional Tibetan maternal diet pattern among native rural lactating women possesses distinct characteristics due to its unique geographical environment and dietary habits. This study investigated maternal diet pattern and human breastmilk composition of Tibetan lactating women through different lactation stages during the first month postpartum in Shigatse. The results indicated that Tibetan maternal diet profile was apparently monotonous, mainly sufficient in Zanba, buttered tea, red meat, and fatty soup, yet insufficient in white meat, eggs, leafy vegetables, and fruits, leading to imperfect maternal nutritional intakes with high-level carbohydrates and deficient proteins. Distinctions of maternal diet profiles in various degrees can be discovered upon different lactation stages, which brings multiple influences to the composition of human milk. There was significantly weak-to-medium correlation of protein contents between maternal diet intakes and human milk, while other macronutrients correlated insignificantly. Micronutrient constituents in human milk, involving functional unsaturated fatty acids and free essential amino acids, were also impacted by maternal diet intakes through different lactation stages. These results show that more systematic and profound research is requisite for the clarification and development of Tibetan maternal diet to offer more enhanced and individualized nutritional recommendations for Tibetan lactating women and infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8358384PMC
August 2021

The effect of immunotherapy on cross-reactivity between house dust mite and other allergens in house dust mite -sensitized patients with allergic rhinitis.

Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2021 Sep 18;17(9):969-975. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Introduction: House dust mite (HDM) is a main perennial allergen causing allergic rhinitis (AR). It has been shown that HDM cross-reacts with a variety of other allergens. Presently, allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is an effective way for management of mono-sensitized HDM AR patients. However, management approaches to polysensitized HDM-sensitized AR patients are not standardized yet.

Area Covered: This article reviews the data available in the literature for cross-reactivity between HDM and inhalant or food allergens, the diagnosis of cross-reactivity in HDM-sensitized AR patients, and the effect of immunotherapy on cross-reactivity in HDM-sensitized AR patients; which may help to develop effective therapeutic strategies for management of polysensitized HDM-sensitized AR patients in the future.

Expert Opinion: Pan-allergen proteins such as tropomyosin, arginine kinase (AK), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and hemocyanin are responsible for cross-reactivity between HDM and other allergens. To distinguish genuine or cross-reactive sensitization, molecular- or component-resolved diagnosis is suggested to apply in HDM-sensitized AR patients. The effect of HDM immunotherapy to treat the associated cross-reactivity in HDM-sensitized AR patients is still contradictory, and might be dependent on the degree of homology between two allergens. Furthermore, targeting tropomyosin might be a promising way to treat HDM patients with allergen cross-reactivity.

Abbreviations: AIT: allergen-specific immunotherapy; AK: arginine kinase; AR: allergic rhinitis; CRD: component-resolved diagnostics; Der f: Dermatophagoides farina; Der p: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus; EAACI: European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; GST: glutathione S-transferase; GWAS: genome-wide association study; HDM: house dust mite; IgE: immunoglobulin E; RAST: radioallergosorbent test; sIgE: specific IgE; SIT: specific immunotherapy; SCIT: subcutaneous immunotherapy; SLIT: sublingual immunotherapy; SPT: skin prick test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1744666X.2021.1968834DOI Listing
September 2021

Advances and highlights in allergic rhinitis.

Allergy 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Allergy, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a growing public health, medical and economic problem worldwide. The current review describes the major discoveries related to AR during the past 2 years, including risk factors for the prevalence of AR, the corresponding diagnostic strategy, precise underlying immunological mechanisms, and efficient therapies for AR during the ongoing global "coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19) pandemic. The review further attempts to highlight future research perspectives. Increasing evidence suggests that environmental exposures, climate changes, and lifestyle are important risk factors for AR. Consequently, detailed investigation of the exposome and the connection between environmental exposures and health in the future should provide better risk profiles instead of single predictors, and also help mitigate adverse health outcomes in allergic diseases. Although patients with dual AR, a newly defined AR phenotype, display perennial and seasonal allergens-related nasal symptoms, they are only allergic to seasonal allergens, indicating the importance of measuring inflammation at the local sites. Herein, we suggest that a combination of precise diagnosis in local sites and traditional diagnostic methods may enhance the precision medicine-based approach for management of AR; however, this awaits further investigations. Apart from traditional treatments, social distancing, washing hands, and disinfection are also required to better manage AR patients in the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite recent advances in understanding the immune mechanisms underlying the effects of allergen immunotherapy (AIT), further understanding changes of cell profiles after AIT and accurately evaluate the efficacy of AIT are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15044DOI Listing
August 2021

Biomedical Applications of Supramolecular Materials in the Controllable Delivery of Steroids.

Front Mol Biosci 2021 23;8:700712. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Allergy, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones secreted from the adrenal glands. The strong anti-inflammatory effects make it be one of the most popular and versatile drugs available to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Additionally, supramolecular materials have been widely exploited in drug delivery, due to their biocompatibility, tunability, and predictability. Thus, steroid-based supramolecular materials and the release of steroids have been applied in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. This mini-review summarized recent advances in supramolecular materials loaded with glucocorticoid drugs in terms of hydrophobic interactions, electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonding, and π-π stackings. We also discussed and prospected the application of the glucocorticoid drugs-based supramolecular system on chronic rhinosinusitis, multifactorial inflammatory disease of the nasal and paranasal sinuses mucosal membranes. Overall, supramolecular materials can provide an alternative to traditional materials as a novel delivery platform in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmolb.2021.700712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8343020PMC
July 2021

IL-25R circulating fibrocytes are increased in asthma and correlate with fixed airflow limitation.

Clin Respir J 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Introduction: Interleukin (IL)-25 is a T helper (Th) type-2 cytokine implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma. Fibrocytes are progenitor cells that can migrate into circulation and inflamed bronchial epithelium.

Objectives: We aim to test the hypothesis that circulating fibrocytes may be the novel cellular targets of IL-25 and the recruitment of IL-25R circulating fibrocytes may correlate with asthmatic airway obstruction.

Methods: By using flow cytometry analysis, IL-25R fibrocytes (i.e., IL-17RB fibrocytes) in the freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 15 control subjects and 35 patients with asthma were enumerated and compared. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect the plasma levels of IL-25.

Results: We found the percentage of total and IL-25R (IL-17RB ) fibrocytes in PBMCs was significantly increased in patients with asthma when compared with control subjects. Subgroup analysis further showed that the percentage of circulating total and IL-25R fibrocytes in PBMCs was markedly increased in asthma patients with severe-to-very severe fixed airflow limitation. Furthermore, IL-25R circulating fibrocytes in asthma patients were shown to significantly correlate with forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity (FEV /FVC), FEV % predicted, blood eosinophils, serum IgE and plasma IL-25 levels.

Conclusion: We concluded that circulating fibrocytes are the novel potential cellular targets of IL-25. IL-25R fibrocytes are increased in asthma patients. Increased proportions of IL-25R fibrocytes predict a distinct asthma phenotype with fixed airflow limitation. Biological therapy-targeting IL-25-fibrocytes axis may offer great promise for the control of asthma patients with severe airway remodelling and obstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/crj.13433DOI Listing
July 2021

[The effect of endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy on different lacrimal duct obstruction].

Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi 2021 Aug;35(8):677-682

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery,Beijing Tongren Hospital,Capital Medical University,Key Laboratory of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery(Capital Medical University),Ministry of Education,Beijing,100730,China.

To observe the effect of endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy on different lacrimal duct obstruction. Eighty eyes with the lacrimal passage obstruction were collected, and treated with endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy. Meanwhile, the abnormal structures of the nasal cavity were corrected and the pathological changes of the nasal cavity and sinuses were treated. The patients were followed up and the curative effect was observed. Follow-up period ranged from 10 months to 8 years. The first operation cure rate was 78.8%, the effective rate was 17.5%, the ineffective rate was 3.8%, and the success rate was 96.2%. Two of the 3 eyes failed in first operation were cured by reoperation. The total success rate was 98.8%. Endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy can be used as a routine operation in the treatment of different lacrimal duct obstruction. The structural abnormalities and pathological changes of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses can be treated simultaneously. Combined with postoperative treatment and follow-up, long-term curative effect can be obtained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13201/j.issn.2096-7993.2021.08.002DOI Listing
August 2021

PLEKHO2 inhibits TNFα-induced cell death by suppressing RIPK1 activation.

Cell Death Dis 2021 07 16;12(8):714. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Fifth medical Centre, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100071, China.

Receptor interaction protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) plays a diverse role in tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) signalings. The ubiquitination of RIPK1 is essential for NF-κB activation, whereas its kinase activity promotes apoptosis and necroptosis. However, the mechanisms underlying have not been fully illuminated. Here we report that PH domain-containing family O member 2 (PLEKHO2) inhibits RIPK1-dependent cell death and is necessary for NF-κB activation in response to TNFα. Cells of PLKEHO2 deficiency are more susceptible to TNF-α induced apoptosis and necroptosis with increased RIPK1 activation, which is consistent with the observation that the susceptibility of PLEKHO2-/- cells is effectively prevented by treatment of RIPK1 kinase inhibitor. Moreover, PLEKHO2 deficient cells exhibit compromised RIPK1 ubiquitination and NF-κB activation in response to TNFα. Ultimately, PLEKHO2-deficient mice display greatly increased hepatotoxicity and lethality after TNFα-induced hepatitis. In summary, our study revealed that PLEKHO2 is a novel inhibitor of apoptosis and necroptosis, which plays a key role in regulating RIPK1 ubiquitination and activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-04001-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8285381PMC
July 2021

Budesonide repairs decreased barrier integrity of eosinophilic nasal polyp epithelial cells caused by PM.

Clin Transl Allergy 2021 Jul 3;11(5):e12019. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Beijing TongRen Hospital Capital Medical University Beijing China.

Background: Eosinophilic chronic rhinitis with nasal polyps (eos-CRSwNP) is a subtype of nasal polyps (NPs) characterized by severe type-2 inflammation and defective epithelial barrier function. The epithelial barrier plays important roles in the pathogenesis of NPs and type-2 inflammation. Particular matter 2.5 (PM) are fine particles with a diameter less than 2.5 μm, containing a mixture of different components. Here, we investigated the impact of PM on the barrier function of the eos-CRSwNP epithelium and explored the reparative function of budesonide.

Methods: Samples from noninflammatory nasal mucosa and eos-CRSwNP were collected to establish an in vitro air-liquid interface cultured model. The cells were exposed to PM at 50 or 100 µg/ml intermittently for 72 h, with or without budesonide pretreatment. Barrier function and tight junction (TJ) expression were reflected by measuring transepithelial resistance (TER), paracellular flux permeability of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled 4-kDa dextran, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and immunofluorescence staining of TJ proteins. Cytokine expression was measured by qPCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or Luminex.

Results: PM increased paracellular flux and downregulated TJ protein expression (zona occuldens-1, occludin, and claudin-1), but did not change TER. These changes could be partially restored by budesonide treatment. Interleukin (IL)-8, IL-10, IL-1, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 concentrations were significantly increased in the culture medium of cells exposed to PM, and budesonide significantly reduced the changes in IL-8, IL-1, and TIMP-1.

Conclusion: PM impaired the barrier function of eos-CRSwNP epithelial cells and increased the permeability of large molecules. PM also increased the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by nasal epithelial cells. Budesonide could partially repair the damage, suggesting potential applications in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254582PMC
July 2021

Losartan prevents tumor-induced hearing loss and augments radiation efficacy in NF2 schwannoma rodent models.

Sci Transl Med 2021 07;13(602)

Edwin L. Steele Laboratories, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Hearing loss is one of the most common symptoms of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) caused by vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Fibrosis in the VS tumor microenvironment (TME) is associated with hearing loss in patients with NF2. We hypothesized that reducing the fibrosis using losartan, an FDA-approved antihypertensive drug that blocks fibrotic and inflammatory signaling, could improve hearing. Using NF2 mouse models, we found that losartan treatment normalized the TME by (i) reducing neuroinflammatory IL-6/STAT3 signaling and preventing hearing loss, (ii) normalizing tumor vasculature and alleviating neuro-edema, and (iii) increasing oxygen delivery and enhancing efficacy of radiation therapy. In preparation to translate these exciting findings into the clinic, we used patient samples and data and demonstrated that IL-6/STAT3 signaling inversely associated with hearing function, that elevated production of tumor-derived IL-6 was associated with reduced viability of cochlear sensory cells and neurons in ex vivo organotypic cochlear cultures, and that patients receiving angiotensin receptor blockers have no progression in VS-induced hearing loss compared with patients on other or no antihypertensives based on a retrospective analysis of patients with VS and hypertension. Our study provides the rationale and critical data for a prospective clinical trial of losartan in patients with VS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abd4816DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8409338PMC
July 2021

A multicenter real-life study on the multiple reasons for uncontrolled allergic rhinitis.

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Clinical Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: Recent data show uncontrolled disease in 35% of allergic rhinitis (AR) patients on medical treatment. The reasons for uncontrolled disease can arbitrarily be divided into disease-related, diagnosis-related, treatment-related, and patient-related factors. However, the relative importance of these factors in uncontrolled disease remains speculative. This explorative study aimed at determining the factors causing uncontrolled AR on four different continents worldwide, identifying the most common reasons for uncontrolled disease in AR.

Methods: Patients with uncontrolled AR (n = 430) were asked to fill out a questionnaire and underwent a clinical examination at the outpatient clinic in five university outpatient clinics (Leuven [Belgium], Beijing [China], Kinshasa [Congo], Bangalore [India], and Philadelphia [US]). Two independent physicians evaluated the reason or multiple reasons for uncontrolled disease. The study was coordinated from the University Hospital of Leuven.

Results: In uncontrolled AR patients, 76% of patients showed two or more reasons for uncontrolled disease according to the physicians' evaluation. Disease-related factors (64%) were considered most often the reason for uncontrolled disease, followed by treatment- (56%), patient- (54%), and diagnosis-related (47%) factors. There is limited variability in observations across different centers worldwide.

Conclusion: We here define the multiple reasons for uncontrolled AR across different continents, with disease-related factors being most frequently associated with uncontrolled disease. A better understanding of uncontrolled disease will guide us in defining strategies to improve AR care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alr.22808DOI Listing
July 2021

Prevalence and clinical implications of bronchiectasis in patients with overlapping asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis: a single-center prospective study.

BMC Pulm Med 2021 Jul 5;21(1):211. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Background: As a typical "united airway" disease, asthma-chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) overlap has recently drawn more attention. Bronchiectasis is a heterogeneous disease related to a variety of diseases. Whether bronchiectasis exists and correlates with asthma-CRS patients has not been fully elucidated. The purpose of the study was to explore the presence and characteristics of bronchiectasis in patients with overlapping asthma and CRS.

Methods: This report describes a prospective study with consecutive asthma-CRS patients. The diagnosis and severity of bronchiectasis were obtained by thorax high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), the Smith radiology scale and the Bhalla scoring system. CRS severity was evaluated by paranasal sinus CT and the Lund-Mackay (LM) scoring system. The correlations between bronchiectasis and clinical data, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide, peripheral blood eosinophil counts and lung function were analyzed.

Results: Seventy-two (40.91%) of 176 asthma-CRS patients were diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Asthma-CRS patients with overlapping bronchiectasis had a higher incidence rate of nasal polyps (NPs) (P = 0.004), higher LM scores (P = 0.044), higher proportion of ≥ 1 severe exacerbation of asthma in the last 12 months (P = 0.003), lower postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV) % predicted (P = 0.006), and elevated peripheral blood eosinophil counts (P = 0.022). Smith and Bhalla scores were shown to correlate positively with NPs and negatively with FEV% predicted and body mass index. Cutoff values of FEV% predicted ≤ 71.40%, peripheral blood eosinophil counts > 0.60 × 10/L, presence of NPs, and ≥ 1 severe exacerbation of asthma in the last 12 months were shown to differentiate bronchiectasis in asthma-CRS patients.

Conclusions: Bronchiectasis commonly overlaps in asthma-CRS patients. The coexistence of bronchiectasis predicts a more severe disease subset in terms of asthma and CRS. We suggest that asthma-CRS patients with NPs, severe airflow obstruction, eosinophilic inflammation, and poor asthma control should receive HRCT for the early diagnosis of bronchiectasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-021-01575-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8258939PMC
July 2021

Oxidative Polymerization in Living Cells.

J Am Chem Soc 2021 Jul 23;143(28):10709-10717. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Key Lab of Organic Optoelectronics & Molecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China.

Intracellular polymerization is an emerging technique that can potentially modulate cell behavior, but remains challenging because of the complexity of the cellular environment. Herein, taking advantage of the chemical properties of organotellurides and the intracellular redox environment, we develop a novel oxidative polymerization reaction that can be conducted in cells without external stimuli. We demonstrate that this polymerization reaction is triggered by the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus selectively proceeding in cancer cells and inducing apoptosis via a unique self-amplification mechanism. The polymerization products are shown to disrupt intracellular antioxidant systems through interacting with selenoproteins, leading to greater oxidative stress that would further the oxidative polymerization and eventually activate ROS-related apoptosis pathways. The selective anticancer efficacy and biosafety of our strategy are proven both and . Ultimately, this study enables a new possibility for chemists to manipulate cellular proliferation and apoptosis through artificial chemical reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.1c04821DOI Listing
July 2021

Upregulation of Basonuclin1 Is Associated with p63-Involved Epithelial Barrier Impairment and Type-2 Helper T-cell Inflammation in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2021 Jun 18:1-12. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Background: Tumor protein p63 has been shown to be important for epithelial dysfunction, including epithelial barrier defects and mucosal inflammation, in the development of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Basonuclin1 (BNC1), an epithelial-specific transcriptional factor, is a direct downstream target of p63 and thus might be involved in the pathogenesis of CRSwNP.

Objective: We sought to investigate whether BNC1 was associated with p63-mediated epithelial barrier defects and nasal mucosal inflammation in CRSwNP.

Methods: Nasal tissue biopsies were obtained from 91 patients to CRSwNP, 49 chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) patients, and 28 control subjects. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining were used to determine the distribution of BNC1 in tissues and localization in cells, respectively. Quantitative PCR was performed to detect the expression levels of BNC1, TP63, epithelial barrier proteins, and type-2 helper T-cell inflammation-related genes.

Results: BNC1 mRNA expression was significantly elevated in the tissues in CRSwNP patients compared with CRSsNP (1.96-fold, p = 0.0003) and control groups (2.40-fold, p < 0.0001). BNC1 staining was strongly positive in the nasal epithelium and co-localized with p63-positive epithelial cells. The expression of BNC1 mRNA was strongly correlated with TP63 mRNA level both in tissue biopsies (r = 0.78, p < 0.0001) and epithelial scrapings (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001). BNC1 expression was also positively correlated with epithelial barrier protein genes (CDH1, CLDN1, CLDN4, TJP1, and TJP2) and epithelial genes involved in TH2 inflammation (IL33, CCL26, CLC, and ALOX15).

Conclusions: Overexpression of BNC1 may be associated with increased expression of TP63, and possibly contribute to the epithelial barrier defects and TH2 inflammation in CRSwNP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516810DOI Listing
June 2021

Antihistamine premedication improves safety and efficacy of allergen immunotherapy.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2021 09 27;127(3):363-371.e1. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Nasal Diseases, Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Department of Allergy, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Background: Allergen immunotherapy (AIT)-associated adverse events are a major concern for safety and efficacy of AIT. Presently, there is no consensus to whether antihistamine premedication could improve such conditions.

Objective: To identify the superiority of antihistamine pretreatment in AIT.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search for randomized controlled trials reporting the effects of antihistamine premedication on safety and efficacy of AIT was performed in MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Safety was evaluated according to the number of patients reporting systemic adverse reactions (SARs, the primary outcome) and efficacy according to the number of patients achieving target maintenance dose (TMD) and sustained unresponsiveness to allergen.

Results: A total of 11 randomized controlled trials (including 609 patients) satisfied the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. All premedication protocols were temporary. Pooled analysis revealed that compared with control patients, significantly fewer antihistamine-pretreated patients reported total and moderate-to-severe SARs (odds ratio [OR], 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.56; P < .05 and OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.06-0.74; P < .05, respectively) and total and moderate-to-severe SAR episodes (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.34-0.53; P < .05 and OR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01-0.50; P < .05, respectively). Similarly, antihistamine pretreatment significantly increased the number of patients achieving TMD (OR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.72-5.03; P < .05), but not sustained unresponsiveness (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 0.77-3.54; P = 0.2), compared with the control group. Subgroup analysis according to different allergens and dose-escalating approaches also displayed superiority of antihistamine pretreatment than control.

Conclusion: Antihistamine premedication can markedly improve safety and efficacy of AIT by reducing frequency and severity of SAR and increasing TMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2021.05.023DOI Listing
September 2021

Naso-ocular neuropeptide interactions in allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis.

World Allergy Organ J 2021 May 9;14(5):100540. Epub 2021 May 9.

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing TongRen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100730, China.

Background: Ocular as well as nasal symptoms contribute to allergic response but remain poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to analyze the levels of substance P (SP), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in tears and nasal secretions of patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC), allergic rhinitis, and allergic conjunctivitis, while exploring possible mechanisms of naso-ocular interactions.

Methods: A total of 21 patients with ARC, 17 with allergic rhinitis, 13 with allergic conjunctivitis, and 15 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Nasal secretions and tears were collected. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were recorded and levels of substance P, VIP, and CGRP were measured.

Results: SP levels in nasal secretions and tears were significantly higher in the ARC, AR, and AC groups. Similar results were obtained for VIP levels. CGRP levels in tears were also significantly higher in the 3 patient groups. The level of SP was significantly higher in the nasal secretions than in the tears of the ARC, AR, and AC patient groups. The level of VIP was significantly higher in the nasal secretions than in the tears in the ARC and AR groups. The level of CGRP was significantly higher in the nasal secretions than in the tears in the ARC and AC groups. Finally, both of the nasal and tear levels of SP and VIP but not CGRP were positively correlated with the visual analog scale (VAS) score in the patients with ARC.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggested that SP, VIP, and CGRP play important roles in the mechanism of ARC and that nasal neurotransmitters and neuropeptides might have more important roles than those of ocular origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2021.100540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131918PMC
May 2021

Assessment of changes in genetic transcriptome in nasal epithelial cells exposed to ozone-aged black carbon and pollen allergen by high-throughput transcriptomics.

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2021 May 22;17(1):52. Epub 2021 May 22.

Department of Allergy, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital University of Medical Science, Beijing, 100730, China.

Background: Air pollution may be associated with increased airway responsiveness to allergens in allergic rhinitis (AR). Ozone-aged environmental black carbon (OBC) is an important constituent of atmospheric particulate matter (PM), for which the mechanisms underlying its effects have not been fully elucidated in AR. The objective of the present study was to determine the OBC and pollen-induced alterations in the transcriptome in human nasal epithelial cells (hNECs) in vitro.

Methods: hNECs from nasal epithelial mucosal samples of healthy individuals undergoing nasal surgery (turbinoplasty or septoplasty) were established as air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures and exposed to OBC, pollen, or a combination of OBC+ pollen. Changes in cell viability were analyzed by fluorescence and changes in the transcriptome by high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Several differentially expressed genes were verified by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Enrichment analysis, based on Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, was performed to determine major biological functions and pathways involved.

Results: Exposure to ≥ 50 μg/ml OBC or 25 μg/ml OBC+ 200 μg /ml pollen significantly decreased cell viability of the hNECs compared to control (p < 0.05) or 25 μg/ml OBC alone (p < 0.05); whereas exposure to pollen alone did not alter cell viability at any concentration investigated. High-throughput RNA sequencing analysis indicated that there was significant difference in gene expression between pollen or OBC alone and OBC+ pollen exposed cells. Exposure to 200 μg/ml OBC was associated with hypoxia stress response GO terms, whereas exposure to 25 μg/ml OBC+ 200 μg/ml pollen was associated with inflammatory response GO terms; including regulation of neutrophil migration and chemotaxis, macrophage differentiation and chemotaxis, mast cell activation, and phagocytosis. KEGG pathway analysis indicated the top 10 upstream regulators to be IL1B, CSF1, CCL2, TLR2, LPL, IGF8, SPP1, CXCL8, FCER1G and IL1RN; of which expressions of inflammation-related genes IL1B, CSF1 and FCER1G were significantly increased.

Conclusion: OBC and pollen allergen combined exposure may induce innate immune and allergic inflammation in hNECs, and therefore potentially exacerbate the symptoms of AR in affected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13223-021-00553-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8141196PMC
May 2021

Using the Internet Big Data to Investigate the Epidemiological Characteristics of Allergic Rhinitis and Allergic Conjunctivitis.

Risk Manag Healthc Policy 2021 6;14:1833-1841. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510630, People's Republic of China.

Background: To explore the epidemiological characteristics of allergic rhinitis (AR) and allergic conjunctivitis (AC) based on the Internet big data.

Methods: The Baidu index (BDI) of keywords "allergic rhinitis" and "allergic conjunctivitis" in Mandarin, the daily pollen concentration (PC) released by the Beijing Meteorological Bureau and the volumes of outpatient visits (OV) of the Beijing Tongren Hospital (Beijing) and the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou) from 2017 to 2020 were obtained. The temporal and spatial changes of AR and AC were discussed. The correlations between BDI and PC/OV were analyzed by Spearman correlation analysis.

Results: The trends of BDI of "AR"/"AC" in Beijing showed obvious seasonal variations, but not in Guangzhou. The BDI of "AR" and "AC" was consistent with the OV in both cities (r=0.580, <0.001; r=0.360, =0.031; r=0.885, <0.001; r=0.694, <0.001). The BDI of "AR" and "AC" was highly consistent with the change of the PC in Beijing (r =0.826, 0.001; r =0.564, <0.001). The OV of AR in Beijing and Guangzhou decreased significantly in the first half of 2020, but there was no significant change in AC. In the first half of 2020, the OV of AC in Beijing was significantly higher than that of AR, while that of AC in Guangzhou was slightly higher than that of AR.

Conclusion: The BDI could reflect the real-world situation to some extent and has the potential to predict the epidemiological characteristics of AR and AC. The BDI and OV of AR decreased significantly, but those of AC were still at a high level, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the environment where most people in Beijing and Guangzhou wore masks without eye protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S307247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110272PMC
May 2021
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