Background: Particulate pollution is associated with occurrence of asthma and allergy, acting together with allergens in initiating and exacerbating these diseases. Production of reactive oxygen species contributes to this effect of pollutants. We tested the hypothesis that oxygen radicals generated by granulocytes are key regulators in exacerbation of allergic responses by particulate pollution.
Methods: Out of pollen season, granulocytes and serum were collected from 17 patients sensitive to pollen allergens and from 13 healthy volunteers. Oxygen radical generation, individual single nucleotide polymorphism types (SOD2, SOD3, GSTP1, CAT, FCER1B and IL4A) , gene expression differences and serum cytokine concentrations were compared with allergen-specific IgE, and histamine-release test results in ability to discriminate between groups.
Results: Oxygen radical measurements predicted severity of pollinosis. Allergy (IgE receptor) related genotype FCER1B was associated with increased oxygen radical generation (P=0.04). RNA markers may also predict the onset of hay fever those symptoms getting worse. Interpretation. From our pilot study, genomic approaches and oxygen radical generation by granulocytes in response to pollen particles may be possible molecular markers of allergic inflammation that predicted pollinosis severity.
Conclusion: New measurement technique and methodology may elucidate pollinosis patients in their prediction and prevention and may contribute to development of preventive medicine. It is only a pilot study with small sample, but might have possibilities of finding a cut end and a breakthrough in the difficulty of allergic pathophysiology from the viewpoint of genomic approach and radical oxygen measurement.