Allergy Asthma Immunol Res.  2018 May;10(3):236-243. 10.4168/aair.2018.10.3.236.

Analysis of Peripheral B Cell Subsets in Patients With Allergic Rhinitis

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Immunology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. zhouxuhong@126.com, allergyli@163.com
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Affiliated Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Recent evidence suggests that B cells can both promote and inhibit the development and progression of allergic disease. However, the characteristics of B cell subsets in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) have not been well documented. This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of B cell subsets in the peripheral blood of AR patients.
METHODS
Forty-seven AR patients and 54 healthy controls were enrolled in this study, and the B cell subsets in peripheral blood of all subjects were analyzed by flow cytometry. Moreover, the serum total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgE concentrations secreted into the cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were measured by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS
We found the peripheral blood of AR patients contained higher percentages of memory B cells, plasma cells, and CD19+CD24hiCD27+ regulatory B cells (Bregs) than those of age-matched healthy controls (P < 0.05), while the percentages of naïve B cells and CD19+CD24hiCD38hi Bregs were significantly lower in AR patients than in healthy individuals (P < 0.05). In addition, the serum total IgE and IgE concentrations secreted into the cultured PBMCs were elevated in AR patients than in the healthy controls (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings indicate that AR patients were characterized by increase in terminally differentiated memory B cells or plasma cells and decreases in CD19+CD24hiCD38hi Breg cells in the peripheral blood.

Keyword

Allergic rhinitis; flow cytometry; B cell subsets; regulatory B cells; immunoglobulin E

MeSH Terms

B-Lymphocyte Subsets*
B-Lymphocytes
B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Flow Cytometry
Humans
Immunoglobulin E
Immunoglobulins
Memory
Plasma Cells
Rhinitis, Allergic*
Immunoglobulin E
Immunoglobulins

Figure

  • Fig. 1 Distribution of major circulating B cell subsets in the AR patients and the healthy controls. (A) FSC measures cell size, and SSC measures cell granularity. After lymphocyte gate, the CD19+ (B cell) population gates of the healthy controls and the AR patients are depicted. (B) Memory B cells (CD19+CD27+) and naïve B cells (CD19+CD27−) of the healthy controls and the AR patients. (C) Bregs (CD19+CD24hiCD28hi) and plasma cells (CD19+CD38+CD24−) of the healthy controls and AR patients. (D) Bregs (CD19+CD24hiCD27+) of the healthy controls and the AR patients. AR, allergic rhinitis; FSC, forward scatter; SSC, side scatter; Breg, regulatory B cell.

  • Fig. 2 B cells and B cell subsets in lymphocytes and PBMCs of the AR patients and the healthy controls. (A) The percentage of CD19+ B cells in lymphocytes is significantly higher in the AR patients than in the healthy controls (20.08% vs 11.05%, P<0.0001, for lymphocytes). (B) The percentage of CD19+ B cells in PBMCs is significantly higher in the AR patients than in the healthy controls (6.119% vs 1.922%, P<0.0001, for PBMCs). (C) The PBMCs contain a significantly higher percentage of memory (CD19+CD27+) B cells in the AR patients than in the healthy controls (28.92% vs 19.61%, P=0.0040). (D) With increasing memory B cells, virgin naïve (CD19+CD27−) B cells are decreased in PBMCs from the AR patients compared to the healthy controls (70.97% vs 80.32%, P=0.0037). PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cell; AR, allergic rhinitis; ns, no significance. *P<0.05; †P<0.01; ‡P<0.001; §P<0.0001.

  • Fig. 3 Regulatory B cell subsets in the AR patients. (A–C) The percentages of CD19+CD24hiCD38hi (transitional) B cells in lymphocyte, PBMCs, and CD19+ B cells in the AR patients compared to the healthy controls (0.3873% vs 0.4465%, P=0.5428 for lymphocytes; 0.1405% vs 0.06751% P=0.0672 for PBMCs, 18.25% vs 7.659% for CD19+ B cells). (D–F) The percentages of CD19+CD24hiCD27+ (transitional) B cells in lymphocyte, PBMCs, and CD19+ B cells in the AR patients compared to the healthy controls. CD19+CD24hiCD27+ B cells accounted for higher percentages of B cells in lymphocytes and PBMCs and had significantly larger numbers of lymphocytes and PBMCs in the AR patients compared to the healthy controls (3.795% vs 0.8118%, P<0.0001 for lymphocytes; 1.263% vs 0.1352% P=0.0002 for PBMCs; 18.25% vs 7.659%, P=0.0002 for CD19+ B cells). AR, allergic rhinitis; PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cell; ns, no significance. *P<0.05; †P<0.01; ‡P<0.001; §P<0.0001.

  • Fig. 4 Levels of serum total IgE and IgE concentrations secreted into supernatants of the PBMCs cultured for 3, 5, and 7 days the AR patients and the healthy controls. (A) The percentage of plasma cells was elevated in PBMCs in the AR patients compared to the healthy controls (P=0.0151). (B) Levels of serum total IgE. (C, D) Levels of IgE concentrations secreted into the supernatants of the cultured PBMCs. IgE, immunoglobulin E; PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cell; AR, allergic rhinitis; ns, no significance. *P<0.05; †P<0.01; ‡P<0.001; §P<0.0001.

  • Fig. 5 (A) Correlation between CD19+CD24hiCD38hi Breg percentage and serum IgE level. (B) Correlation between CD19+CD24hiCD27+ Breg percentage and serum IgE level. Breg, regulatory B cell; IgE, immunoglobulin E.


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