A longitudinal study was conducted to determine the pathogenesis and effect of immunotherapy (IT) on monocyte function. Production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) by peripheral blood monocytes in 31 asthmatic children before and one year after IT was compared. Twenty-two children completed the treatment course, and 13 age-matched healthy children served as controls. Adherent monocytes were isolated and stimulated with either crude mite extract of Dermato-phagoid farinae (Df) for 7 days or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 3 days. The amount of TNF and IL-1 in culture supernatant was quantified by TNF and IL-1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits, respectively. The LPS-stimulated TNF production in patients was not different before or after FT (245.8 ± 110.9 vs. 213.3 ± 161.6 pg/0.1 ml, p ± 0.202), but was significantly higher than the control (66.7 ± 42.7 pg/0.1 ml; p < 0.0001). The LPS-stimulated IL-1 production was similar among the three groups. When stimulated with Of antigen, monocytes from asthmatic patients produced a greater amount of TNF and IL-1 than did those from the control (p < 0.001). Furthermore, although the production of TNF decreased after successful IT (360.2 ± 181.6 vs 243.9 ± 189.1 pg/0.1 ml, p < 0.05), the production of IL-1 did not change (679.9 ± 254.1 vs. 534.8 ± 257.6 pg/0.1 ml, p ± 0.05).Thus, repeated long-term administration of allergen (IT) was able to suppress specifically the TNF, but not IL-1 production of monocytes. The different results obtained from the stimulation by TNF by Dermatophagoid farinae after IT suggest the role of TNF on the hyposensitized state of monocytes after long-term, repeated injections of allergen.
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