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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2011, Article ID 259867, 6 pages
Research Article

Correlation of Local FOXP3-Expressing T Cells and Th1-Th2 Balance in Perennial Allergic Nasal Mucosa

Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, S-1 W-16, Chu-ku, Sapporo 060-8543, Japan

Received 11 July 2011; Revised 26 August 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: B. J. Yates

Copyright © 2011 Hideaki Shirasaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Regulatory T cells (Treg) play some important roles in allergic rhinitis. The most specific marker for Treg is FOXP3, a recently identified transcription factor that is essential for Treg development. In order to clarify the levels of Treg in allergic nasal mucosa, we studied the relationship between FOXP3-expressing cells and Th1-Th2 balance in nasal mucosa by means of immunohistochemistry. Human turbinates were obtained after turbinectomy from 26 patients (14 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis and 12 patients with nonallergic rhinitis). To identify the cells expressing the FOXP3 protein, double immunostaining was performed by using anti-FOXP3 antibody and anti-CD3 antibody. There was no significant difference in the percentage of FOXP3+CD3+ cells among CD3+ cells in the nasal mucosa of two groups. The proportion of FOXP3+CD3+ cells tend to be correlated positively with GATA3+CD3+ cells/T-bet+CD3+ cells ratio ( 𝑅 = 0 . 5 6 , 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 ). A positive correlation with GATA3+CD3+/T-bet+CD3+ ratio and FOXP3+CD3+/CD3+ ratio suggests the role of local regulatory T cells as a minimal control of the chronic allergen exposure in nasal mucosa.