Jacobo López-Abente, Esther Bernaldo-de-Quirós, Manuela Camino, Nuria Gil, Esther Panadero, Minia Campos-Domínguez, Elena Seoane-Reula, Juan M Gil-Jaurena, Marjorie Pion, Rafael Correa-Rocha.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) has a high incidence in heart-transplant children, and the reason why there is more AD after transplantation is still unknown.
We conducted a cross-sectional study comparing 11 AD and 11 non-AD age-matched heart-transplant children, to assess which immune alterations are related to AD in these patients.
AD patients had been transplanted at a younger age compared to non-AD, indicating that age at transplant may be determinant in the onset of AD.
The earlier thymectomy in AD heart-transplant children favored the presence of more differentiated phenotypes in the T cell compartment.
We observed a clear reduction in the T-helper 1/T-helper 2 (Th1/Th2) ratio in AD children.
This Th2 polarization was related to eosinophilia and high immunoglobulin E levels, but also to an impaired regulatory T cell (Treg) suppression, which could be secondary to an exhaustion of the Treg compartment.
Interestingly, AD patients were free of rejection episodes (0/11) in comparison to non-AD children (4/11).
We propose that a predominant Th2 phenotype may prevent the emergence of Th1 responses associated with graft rejection.
A more differentiated Treg phenotype could also play a role in preventing acute rejection in the first year posttransplant.
Our findings provide useful insights and knowledge for the better understanding of atopic disorders in transplanted children.