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Molecules 2016, 21(7), 933; doi:10.3390/molecules21070933

Aberrant Expression of Novel Cytokine IL-38 and Regulatory T Lymphocytes in Childhood Asthma

1
Department of Chemical Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, China
2
Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 518057 Shenzhen, China
3
Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau, China
5
Institute of Chinese Medicine and State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract

We investigated the expression of novel anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-38 and regulatory T (Treg) lymphocytes in childhood asthma patients. The protein and mRNA expression level of IL-38, periostin, peripheral CD4+CD25+CD134+ T lymphocytes as well as CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ and CD4+CD25highCD127 Treg lymphocytes from 40 asthmatic patients and 20 normal control (NC) subjects were studied using ELISA, qPCR and flow cytometry. Serum and supernatant cytokines/chemokines were determined by multiplex assay. Serum IL-38, IL-5, IL-17, IL-6, interferon-γ, periostin, IL-1β and IL-13 concentrations were significantly higher in asthmatic patients with or without steroid treatment than those in controls (all p < 0.05). The percentages of both CD4+CD25highFoxP3+ and CD4+CD25highCD127 Treg lymphocytes were markedly decreased in asthmatic patients with and without steroid treatment than those in controls (all p < 0.05). The elevated IL-38 concentration negatively correlated with the percentage of Treg lymphocytes in asthmatic patients with high level (>40 ng/mL) of periostin (p < 0.05). Although the comparable mRNA levels of IL-38 and its receptor IL-36R were found between patients and controls, the mRNA level of IL-38 positively correlated with IL-36R and negatively correlated with IL-10 in all asthmatic patients (both p < 0.05). The percentage of CD4+CD25+CD134+ activated T lymphocytes was also significantly higher in asthmatic patients with steroid treatment than those in controls (p < 0.05). This cross-sectional study demonstrated that the overexpression of circulating IL-38 may play a role in the immunopathogenesis in asthma. View Full-Text
Keywords: childhood asthma; cytokines; IL-38; regulatory T lymphocytes childhood asthma; cytokines; IL-38; regulatory T lymphocytes
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Chu, M.; Chu, I.M.; Yung, E.C.; Lam, C.W.; Leung, T.F.; Wong, G.W.; Wong, C.K. Aberrant Expression of Novel Cytokine IL-38 and Regulatory T Lymphocytes in Childhood Asthma. Molecules 2016, 21, 933.

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