© 2016 Crespo-Lessmann et al. Background: Emerging data suggest that innate immunity may play a role in asthma, particularly the toll-like receptors (TLRs). Some studies pointed to an involvement of TLRs 2 and 4 in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma, and other studies related TLRs to IgE. However, there are not any studies that have comprehensively evaluated the expression of TLRs 2 and 4 in inflammatory cells, in peripheral blood and induced sputum specimens from asthmatic patients, according to their total serum IgE. Methods: We studied 44 asthmatic patients (15 with high total serum IgE and 29 with normal total serum IgE). On a single visit, all patients underwent: induced sputum, pulmonary function tests, determination of exhaled nitric oxide fraction, venipuncture for blood analysis and skin prick allergy tests. The induced sputum cellularity was analyzed by flow cytometry, where expression of TLRs 2 and 4 was studied using fluorochrome-conjugated monoclonal antibodies. Results: Asthmatic patients with high total serum IgE showed, a higher percentage of macrophages expressing TLR4 (42.99 % ± 22.49) versus asthmatic patients with normal total serum IgE (28.84 % ± 15.16) (P = 0.048). Furthermore, we observed a correlation (but weak) between the percentage of macrophages expressing TLR4 in induced sputum and the total serum IgE level (R = 0.314; P = 0.040). Conclusion: Asthmatic subjects with high total serum IgE show increased macrophage expression of TLR4 in induced sputum. This outcome may result from a link between innate immunity and IgE-mediated, adaptive immune responses in asthma, and point to TLR4 as a potential therapeutic target.
- Innate immunity
- Toll-like receptors