Allergy. 2001 Nov; 56(11): 1091-5.
Sublingual tryptase and ECP in children treated with grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): safety and immunologic implications.
Clinical Pediatrica, University of Perugia, Italy.
BACKGROUND: The clinical safety of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been repeatedly confirmed; nevertheless, the possible onset of local oral symptoms is still a concern, and nothing is known about the pathogenesis of this effect. We aimed to determine whether the administration of SLIT in allergic children can evoke an IgE-mediated reaction, by measuring the levels of sublingual tryptase and ECP. METHODS: Thirty children (7-12 years old) with allergic rhinitis/asthma due to grass pollen were prescribed SLIT. In these children, an allergen-specific nasal challenge was performed, and nasal tryptase and ECP were measured before and after. Sublingual ECP and tryptase were also assessed before the SLIT, after 1 month, and after 6 months of treatment. Ten matched allergic children and 10 healthy ones served as controls for the baseline levels of sublingual ECP and tryptase. RESULTS: The levels of nasal tryptase and ECP significantly increased after nasal challenge (P<0.001), whereas no change during the SLIT course (at the beginning, after 1 month, and after 6 months) could be detected in sublingual tryptase either before or after SLIT administration. The sublingual ECP significantly decreased after 6 months of SLIT. The baseline levels of nasal tryptase and ECP were significantly higher in allergic subjects than in healthy controls, as was the level of sublingual ECP. CONCLUSIONS: In the presence of an IgE-mediated reaction (ASNC), a significant increase of tryptase and ECP can be seen. When SLIT is administered, such a phenomenon does not occur; therefore, SLIT does not elicit any IgE reaction in the mouth. It is noteworthy that allergic subjects display higher levels of nasal ECP and tryptase than healthy subjects, even when symptom-free, and these observations may indicate the presence of subclinical inflammation.