Authors:N. Eszes, A. Bohács, Á. Cseh, G. Toldi, A. Bikov, I. Ivancsó, V. Müller, I. Horváth, J. Rigó, B. Vásárhelyi, Gy Losonczy and Lilla Tamási
Asthmatic inflammation during pregnancy poses a risk for maternal and fetal morbidities. Circulating T cell immune phenotype is known to correlate with airway inflammation (detectable by fractional concentration of nitric oxide present in exhaled breath (FENO)) in non-pregnant allergic asthmatics. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of peripheral T cell phenotype to FENO and clinical variables of asthma during pregnancy.We examined 22 pregnant women with allergic asthma in the 2nd/3rd trimester. The prevalence of Th1, Th2, regulatory T (Treg) and natural killer (NK) cell subsets was identified with flow cytometry using cell-specific markers. FENO, Asthma Control Test (ACT) total score and lung function were evaluated.Peripheral blood Th1, Th2, Treg, and NK cell prevalence were not significantly correlated to airway inflammation assessed by FENO in asthmatic pregnant women (all cells p > 0.05; study power > 75%). However, an inverse correlation was detected between Th2 cell prevalence and ACT total scores (p = 0.03) in asthmatic pregnancy.Blunted relationship between T cell profile and airway inflammation may be the result of pregnancy induced immune tolerance in asthmatic pregnancy. On the other hand, increased Th2 response impairs disease control that supports direct relationship between symptoms and cellular mechanisms of asthma during pregnancy.