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Basophil Activation and serum IL-5 levels as possible monitor biomarkers in severe eosinophilic asthma patients treated with anti IL-5 drugs
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  • Cristiano Caruso,
  • Stefania Colantuono,
  • Barbara Tolusso,
  • Clara Di Mario,
  • Antonella Pentassuglia,
  • Gabriele Rumi,
  • Elisa Gremese,
  • A Romano,
  • Antonio Gasbarrini
Cristiano Caruso
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Stefania Colantuono
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Barbara Tolusso
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Clara Di Mario
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Antonella Pentassuglia
Ospedale San Giovanni Battista SMOM
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Gabriele Rumi
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Elisa Gremese
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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A Romano
OASI Maria SS IRCCS for Mental Retardation and Cerebral Involution
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Antonio Gasbarrini
University Hospital Agostino Gemelli
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Abstract

Background: Eosinophilic asthma (EA) is characterized by abnormal production and release of type 2 cytokines, such as interleukin-5 (IL-5), from T helper type 2 (Th2) lymphocytes and type 2 innate lymphoid cells (1). The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the basophil phenotype assessment and serum IL-5 assay in monitoring a series of severe EA patients treated with anti IL-5 drugs and correlate the results of these tests with baseline patients’ characteristics and clinical response, with particular attention to systemic steroid use and asthma exacerbations. Methods: Blood samples of 19 severe asthma patients were collected at T3 and T6 for evaluation of serum levels of IL-5 and basophil phenotype assessment. Results: All patients experienced an improvement of lung function, with an increase of FEV1 from a mean value of 71.9 to 83.8% of the theoretical value (+12%). Oral corticosteroids were progressively reduced and finally stopped in 14 (73.7%) of the 19 patients after six months of follow-up. Patients who achieved a complete response to anti-IL5 treatment showed a rate of activated basophils CD3negCRTH2posCD203cposCD125pos (4.78 ± 2.26%) at T0 significantly lower than that of patients not achieving the complete response (34.57 ± 14.01%, p=0.05). Conclusions: This pilot study in EA patients shows that the determination of activated basophils, that express CD125 is related to anti IL5/IL5Rα drug mechanism of action and subsequent immune response, proving to be a biomarker that identifies the patient’s phenotype that responds to therapy and that requires the concomitant use of OCS.