CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cell in food allergy: Does it predict anaphylaxis?

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Semiha Bahceci Erdem
Ferah Genel
Hikmet Tekin Nacaroglu
Sait Karaman
Canan Sule Unsal Karkıner
Murat Sürücü
Demet Can


FOXP3, Treg cells, children, food allergy, cow’s milk protein allergy, anaphylaxis


Background: Food allergy (FA), hence the incidence of food anaphylaxis, is a public health problem that has increased in recent years. There are still no biomarkers for patients with FA to predict severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.

Objective: There is limited information on whether regulatory T (Treg) cell levels are a biomarker that predicts clinical severity in cases presenting with FA, and which patients are at a greater risk for anaphylaxis.

Methods: A total of 70 children were included in the study: 25 who had IgE-mediated cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and presented with non-anaphylactic symptoms (FA/A−), 16 who had IgE-mediated CMPA and presented with anaphylaxis (FA/A+) (a total of 41 FA cases), and a control group consisting of 29 children without FA. The study was conducted by performing CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cell flow cytometric analysis during resting at least 2 weeks after the elimination diet to FA subjects.

Results: When the FA group was compared with healthy control subjects, CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cell rates were found to be significantly lower in the FA group (p < 0.001). When the FA/A− and FA/A+ groups and the control group were compared in terms of CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cell ratios, they were significantly lower in the FA/A− and FA/A+ groups compared to the control group (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Although there was no significant difference between the FA/A+ group and the FA/A− group in terms of CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cells, our study is important, as it is the first pediatric study we know to investigate whether CD4+CD25+CD127loFOXP3+ cells in FA predict anaphylaxis.

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