Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clin Transl Allergy







Grant Information

National Center for Research Resources, and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Grant/ Award Numbers: NCATS/NIH UL1TR001079, NCATS/NIH UL1TR001422, NCATS/NIH UL1TR001876, NIAID/NIH U19AI135731, NIH/CTSA 5UL1TR001425‐03; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Grant/Award Numbers: 1UM1AI114271‐01, 5UM1AI114271‐03, UM2AI117870


T cell; allergens; asthma; clinical immunology; cockroach.


Background: Characterization of allergic responses to cockroach (CR), a common aeroallergen associated with asthma, has focused mainly on IgE reactivity, but little is known about T cell responses, particularly in children. We conducted a functional evaluation of CR allergen-specific T cell reactivity in a cohort of CR allergic children with asthma.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained from 71 children, with mild-to-moderate asthma who were enrolled in a CR immunotherapy (IT) clinical trial, prior to treatment initiation. PBMC were stimulated with peptide pools derived from 11 CR allergens, and CD4+ T cell responses assessed by intracellular cytokine staining.

Results: Highly heterogeneous responses in T cell reactivity were observed among participants, both in terms of the magnitude of cytokine response and allergen immunodominance. Reactivity against Bla g 9 and Bla g 5 was most frequent. The phenotype of the T cell response was dominated by IL-4 production and a Th2 polarized profile in 54.9% of participants, but IFNγ production and Th1 polarization was observed in 25.3% of the participants. The numbers of regulatory CD4+ T cells were also highly variable and the magnitude of effector responses and Th2 polarization were positively correlated with serum IgE levels specific to a clinical CR extract.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that in children with mild-to-moderate asthma, CR-specific T cell responses display a wide range of magnitude, allergen dominance, and polarization. These results will enable examination of whether any of the variables measured are affected by IT and/or are predictive of clinical outcomes.


© 2021 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Allergy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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