Group 2 innate lymphoid cells are recruited to the nasal mucosa in patients with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease

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Abstract

Background

Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is characterized by tissue eosinophilia and mast cell activation, including abundant production of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), which promote tissue eosinophilia and mast cell responses, undergo chemotaxis and cytokine production in response to PGD2, but it is unknown whether ILC2s are active in patients with AERD.

Objective

We sought to determine whether ILC2 numbers change in peripheral blood and the nasal mucosa during COX-1 inhibitor–induced reactions in patients with AERD.

Methods

Blood and nasal scrapings were collected at baseline, during reactions, and after completion of ketorolac/aspirin challenge/desensitization in 12 patients with AERD. ILC2s and eosinophils were quantitated by means of flow cytometry. Urine was also collected, and quantification of PGD2 metabolite and leukotriene E4 levels was done by using ELISA. Baseline and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug reaction clinical data were correlated with cell changes.

Results

ILC2 numbers significantly increased in nasal mucosal samples and decreased in blood at the time of COX-1 inhibitor reactions in 12 patients with AERD. These changes were not observed in 2 patients without AERD. Furthermore, eosinophil numbers decreased in blood concurrently with significant increases in urinary PGD2 metabolite and leukotriene E4 levels. The magnitude of increases in nasal mucosal ILC2 numbers positively correlated with maximum symptom scores during challenges. Furthermore, blood ILC2 numbers during the reaction correlated with time for the reaction to resolve, possibly reflecting reaction severity.

Conclusions

ILC2s are recruited to the nasal mucosa during COX-1 inhibitor–induced reactions in patients with AERD, correlating with enhanced production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

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