Role of whole saliva in the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in seasonal allergic rhinitis

Takenori Haruna, Shin Kariya, Tazuko Fujiwara, Atsushi Yuta, Takaya Higaki, Pengfei Zhao, Yukiko Ogawa, Kengo Kanai, Yuji Hirata, Aiko Oka, Kazunori Nishizaki, Mitsuhiro Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The development of methods to predict the clinical effectiveness of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for allergic diseases is a crucial matter. We sought to determine whether whole saliva, which is the first body component that contacts allergen extracts during SLIT, is associated with the clinical effectiveness of SLIT in Japanese cedar pollinosis. Methods: Blood monocytes or monocytic THP-1 cells were cultured in the presence or absence of either whole saliva or pure saliva with or without treatments including filtration and blockade of TLR2 and/or TLR4 signaling. IL-10 levels in the supernatants were then measured. Whole saliva-induced IL-10 production by THP-1 cells was compared between asymptomatic and disease-onset patients during peak pollen dispersal after SLIT. Results: Both monocytes and THP-1 cells produced substantial amounts of IL-10 in response to whole saliva. IL-10 production was significantly reduced in response to pure saliva and 0.2 μm-filtered saliva. Simultaneous treatment with polymyxin B and TL2.1, a neutralizing antibody against TLR2, also reduced IL-10 production. IL-10 levels produced by THP-1 cells in response to whole saliva collected prior to SLIT were significantly higher in asymptomatic patients determined by symptom-medication scores than disease-onset patients following SLIT. Such differences were not seen in saliva collected 3 months after the initiation of SLIT or saliva collected during peak pollen dispersal. Conclusions: Our results provide a basis for why the sublingual route is effective and preferable in allergen immunotherapy. Saliva-induced IL-10 levels produced by THP-1 cells may be a predictive marker for clinical remission after SLIT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalAllergology International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • IL-10
  • Prediction
  • Sublingual immunotherapy
  • Whole saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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