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The Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (IJAAI), a scientific and research journal, seeks to publish original papers, selected review articles, case reports, and other articles of special interest related to the fields of asthma, allergy and immunology. The Journal is an official publication of the Iranian Society of Asthma and Allergy (ISAA), which is supported by Immunology, Asthma and Allergy Research Institute (IAARI) and published by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). The Journal seeks to provide its readers with the highest quality materials published through a process of careful peer reviews and editorial comments. All papers are published in English.

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Current Issue

Vol 21 No 4 (2022)

Review Article(s)

Original Article(s)

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 55 | views: 98 | pages: 388-398


    This study is a part of the Global Asthma Network (GAN) phase I project to assess asthma symptoms in children, adolescents, and their parents in Karaj, Iran. The present cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019-2020 in Karaj, Iran, in alignment with the goals of the GAN study, including assessing asthma prevalence, severity, and risk factors.
    In this study, 1500 students were selected using a multistage stratified cluster sampling method from 40 public and private schools in Karaj. The entire population of children aged 6-7 years or adolescents aged 13-14 years in a given school and their parents was considered the sample unit. The GAN core questionnaires were completed for students and parents.
    The results showed that the response rate was 89.6%. A total of 1326 children and adolescents, 572 children aged 6-7 years, and 754 aged 13-14 years and their parents were enrolled in the study. The prevalence of ever- and current wheezing was 24% and 13.8% among 6-7-year-olds, and 18.8% and 12.3% among 13-14-year-olds, respectively. In children aged 6-7 years, parental wheezing significantly increased the chances of children wheezing (odds ratio: 3.27; 95% confidence interval: 1.70, 6.310).
    The current study’s findings showed that the prevalence of asthma symptoms among children and adolescents and their parents in Karaj, Iran, was mainly higher than the findings of studies conducted in other cities in Iran.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 37 | views: 89 | pages: 399-406

    Altered expression and dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported in different samples of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The present study attempted to evaluate the peripheral expressions of miR-146a and miR-218 in COPD patients and sex-matched healthy controls with/without cigarette smoke exposure (CSE).
    In this case-control study, blood samples were collected from 60 COPD patients (30 with CSE and 30 non-CSE in each group) and 60 healthy controls. Peripheral expressions of miRNA-146a and miR-218a were measured using qRT-PCR and results were compared between cases and controls as well as within the subgroups of patients.
    We found significantly decreased expressions for both miRNAs in the patients compared to healthy controls. Remarkable underexpression of miRNA-146a and miRNA-218 were found in the CSE and non-CSE patients compared to non-CSE healthy controls and even in the CSE versus non-CSE controls. Both groups of patients showed underexpression of two miRNAs in comparison with CSE healthy controls and interestingly, similar decrements were observed in the CSE versus non-CSE patients. Also, ROC curve analysis revealed the significantly diagnostic powers for both miRNAs in discrimination of patients from healthy individuals and CSE-COPD from non-CSE COPD patients.
    The underexpression of miR-146a and miR-218 in COPD patients and relation to CSE can be indicative of CSE-induced changes in miRNA expression profile and potential for these biomarkers in COPD risk assessment, particularly in those patients with CSE.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 51 | views: 70 | pages: 407-417

    Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) results from chemoattraction of inflammatory cells toward the thyroid gland by inducing the production of interferon-gamma (IFNγ)-induced protein 10 (IP10) by T helper (Th) 1 cells. Vitamin D may suppress the IFNγ-IP10 axis, but this new function of vitamin D has not yet been investigated in HT patients.
    In an intervention and control group, patients received 50000 IU cholecalciferol or placebo every week for three months, respectively. The CD4+ T cells of 40 patients were isolated, and the mRNA expression levels of vitamin D receptor (VDR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR)-α, and PPAR-γ genes were determined by real-time PCR. ELISA method was used to determine serum levels of vitamin D, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IFN-γ, and IP10.
    Vitamin D levels in the intervention group were significantly higher than in the placebo group after supplementation. PPAR-α and PPAR-γ gene expression levels did not differ significantly between the two groups. The serum levels of IP10, IFNγ, and TNF-α decreased significantly in the vitamin D group, as well as in the placebo group. 
    During this study, vitamin D levels significantly increased in the intervention group and inflammatory factors decreased. Based on the similar results obtained in the placebo group, further studies with larger sample sizes and longer intervention times are recommended.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 43 | PDF | views: 65 | pages: 418-428

    Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) play a major role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and dysregulation of unfolded protein response are involved in the resistance to apoptosis of FLSs in RA (RA-FLSs). MicroRNA (MiR)-211 plays an important role in controlling ER stress and apoptotic genes in a PKR-like ER kinase (PERK)-activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-dependent manner. We investigated the effect of miR-211-5p overexpression on ER stress and apoptotic genes in RA-FLSs.
    FLSs were isolated from synovial tissues of trauma (n=10) and RA (n=10) patients. MiR-211-5p and mRNA expression of the selected genes involved in the PERK pathway and apoptosis regulation were measured in RA, trauma, and thapsigargin (Tg)-treated RA-FLSs. Afterward, Tg-treated RA-FLSs following miR-211-5p overexpression were evaluated for miR-211-5p and mRNA levels of the study genes.
    The expression of miR-211-5p, PERK, BAX, and BCL2 showed no differences between RA and trauma. However, the expression of ATF4 and BCL-XL showed a significant increase in trauma. In addition, the levels of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and MCL1 indicated a significant increase in RA-FLSs. Tg treatment significantly increased the expression of PERK, ATF4, and CHOP in RA-FLSs with no effect on miR-211-5p, BAX, BCL2, BCL-XL, and MCL1. Furthermore, Tg treatment following miR-211-5p overexpression in RA-FLSs showed a significant increase in levels of miR-211-5p with no changes in apoptotic genes.
    MiR-211-5p overexpression in stimulated RA-FLSs did not alter the levels of selected genes involved in apoptosis regulation. However, more investigations are necessary to determine the ER stress role in apoptosis regulation in RA-FLSs.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 66 | PDF | views: 62 | pages: 429-440

    Vitamins A, D, and microRNAs contribute to T cell differentiation into TH2 phenotypes. We investigated the molecular mechanisms and effects of vitamin A and D on the expression of GATA3 and miR-27-3p isoforms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model of multiple sclerosis.
    EAE was induced in C57BL/6 mice by immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, mixed with Complete Freund's Adjuvant, together with injection of pertussis toxin. Treatments began one day before immunization with (200 μg and 100 ng of vitamin A and vitamin D per mouse, respectively, and vitamin A+D (100 μg+50 ng) per mouse. Expression levels of GATA3 and miR‑27‑3p isoforms were measured in the CNS and splenocytes by real-time RT-PCR.
    The expression level of GATA3 in the mice spinal cords and splenocytes was increased in the vitamin A and A+D-treated EAE mice at 24 h and 48 h after restimulation by 10 µg and 40 µg of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. Vitamins A and D and their combination upregulated the miR-27-3p isoforms compared with EAE mice with no treatments. We also demonstrated that miR-273p isoform expression was altered in splenocytes of vitamin-treated EAE mice. The results showed a positive correlation between splenocyte GATA3 levels and miR-27-3p isoform expression.
    The protective impacts of vitamins A and D in EAE mice may be mediated by the upregulation of GATA3. However, it is not specified whether suppression of GATA3-targeting miRNAs of the miR-27-3p family is involved in this effect. These results do not rule out the possibility that miR-27-3p isoforms might have beneficial effects by targeting other transcripts, such as GluA2 and NR2B.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 53 | views: 157 | pages: 441-448

    Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a debilitating mental disorder with various causes involving complex interactions between genetic factors and environmental agents. The immune system plays a vital role in the pathology and function of the nervous system. Interleukin 35 (IL-35) is a regulatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine that can prevent autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This study aimed to investigate the role of autoantibodies against some central nervous system (CNS) antigens and IL-35 serum levels in patients with Schizophrenia.
    This case-control study involved 80 participants. The serum levels of IL-35 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the autoantibodies in the CNS by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA).
    The serum levels of IL-35 were decreased in patient groups compared to healthy subjects. Autoantibodies against N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) were positive in 15% (6/40) and 7.5% (3/40), respectively; however, no antibodies against myelin, aquaporin-4 (AQP4), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC), α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPAR), γ-butyric acid receptor type B1 γ-butyric acid receptor type B1 (GABABR), antidipeptidyl peptidase-like protein-6 (DPPX), immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion molecule 5 (IgLON5), Glycine receptor (R) and acetylcholine receptor (Ach R) were detected (No statistics were computed). 
    We found that decreased serum IL-35 levels and the existence autoantibodies against NMDAR antigen may contribute to the pathogenesis of SCZ.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 33 | PDF | downloads: 11 | views: 69 | pages: 449-457

    Hypoxia is a common characteristic of the tumor microenvironment. In response to hypoxia, expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) can lead to activation of downstream molecular events such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), invasion, and angiogenesis. In this study, CoCl2 was used to simulate hypoxia in SKBR3 and HEK293T cell lines to investigate whether this treatment can induce hypoxia-associated EMT and invasion in the studied cells. SKBR3 and HEK293T cells were treated with different concentrations of CoCl2 at different exposure times and their viability was analyzed. To confirm successful hypoxia induction, the expression levels of HIF1α and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) mRNA were assessed.
    Additionally, the expression of EMT-associated markers including snail, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and vimentin, as well as invasion-related genes including matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) and MMP9 was measured.
    We found that cell viability in CoCl2-treated cells was concentration-dependent and was not affected at low doses. While the expression of HIF and VEGFA genes was upregulated following hypoxia induction. E-cadherin expression was significantly downregulated in HEK293T cells; while, N-cadherin and snail were upregulated in both cell lines. Moreover, an increment of MMP expression was only observed in SKBR3 cells.
    Taken together, the findings indicated that CoCl2 can mimic hypoxia in both cell lines, but EMT was triggered in SKBR3 cells more effectively than in HEK293T cells, and invasion was only stimulated in SKBR3 cells. In conclusion, SKBR3 cancer cells can be used as an EMT model to better understand its control and manipulation mechanisms and to investigate new therapeutic targets for the suppression of tumor metastasis.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 40 | views: 80 | pages: 458-466

    A decrease in T cell count or reduced T cell function can be indicative of T cell immunodeficiency. In the present study, T-cell function was assessed using Carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) dilution test after stimulation with commonly used Phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) or anti-CD3/anti-CD28 coated beads in pediatric patients with recurrent infections.
    Seven infants with recurrent infections and seven sex/age-matched healthy infants were included in this study. A blood cell count, immunophenotyping, and serum immunoglobulin level were performed. The proliferation of T cells was also assessed with CFSE dilution after stimulation with PHA or anti-CD3/anti-CD28 coated beads. 
    This study showed increased IgA, IgG, and IgM levels in patients compared to the controls. In contrast to the controls, the immunophenotyping results showed a significant decline in the number of CD4+ T cells in patients. Although there was no difference in CD3+ T cell proliferation between patients and controls, the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation rates were significantly decreased in patients when stimulated with PHA.
    As a mitogen with the potential for maximum proliferation of T cells, PHA is better able to distinguish between patients with recurrent infections and controls than anti-CD3/anti-CD28, which mimics only the TCR pathway for stimulation of T cells. 

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 53 | views: 85 | pages: 467-477

    The cytokine storm and lymphopenia are reported in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Myeloid-derived suppressive cells (MDSCs) exist in two different forms, granulocyte (G-MDSCs) and monocytic (M-MDSCs), that both suppress T-cell function. In COVID-19, the role of chemokines such as interleukin (IL)-8 in recruiting MDSCs is unclear. A recent report has correlated IL-8 and MDSCs with poor clinical outcomes in melanoma patients. In the current study, we evaluated the frequency of MDSCs and their correlation with serum IL-8 levels in severe COVID-19 patients from Iran.
    Thirty-seven severe patients (8 on ventilation, 29 without ventilation), thirteen moderate COVID-19 patients, and eight healthy subjects participated in this study between 10th April 2020 and 9th March 2021. Clinical and biochemical features, serum, and whole blood were obtained. CD14, CD15, CD11b, and HLA-DR expression on MDSCs was measured by flow cytometry.
    COVID-19 patients compared to healthy subjects had a greater frequency of M-MDSCs (12.7±13.3% vs 0.19±0.20%,), G-MDSCs (15.8±12.6% vs 0.35±0.40%,) and total-MDSCs (27.5±17.3% vs 0.55±0.41%,). M-MDSC (16.8±15.8% vs 5.4±4.8%,) and total-MDSC (33.3±18.5% vs 17.3±13.3%) frequency was higher in non- ventilated compared to moderate COVID-19 subjects. Serum IL-8 levels were higher in patients with COVID-19 than in normal healthy subjects (6.4±7.8 vs. 0.10±00 pg/mL). Ventilated patients (15.7±6.7 pg/mL), non-ventilated patients (5.7±2.7 pg/mL) and moderate patients (2.8±3.0 pg/mL) had significantly different levels of IL-8.  A negative correlation was found between the frequency of G-MDSCs and the international normalized ratio (INR) test (r=-0.39), and between the frequency of total-MDSCs and oxygen saturation (%) (r=-0.39).
    COVID-19 patients with severe non-ventilated disease had the highest levels of M-MDSCs. In addition to systemic MDSCs, lung, serum IL-8, and other inflammatory biomarkers should be measured.

Case Report(s)

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 23 | views: 72 | pages: 478-483

    A novel coronavirus disease known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread quickly throughout the world, and it was declared a pandemic in March 2022. Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a diverse group of genetic disorders characterized by recurrent bacterial and fungal infections, resulting in granulomas due to the inability of phagocytes to destroy microbes. Even though it is thought that impaired neutrophil activity is a protective mechanism against severe COVID-19-induced cytokine storms and hyper-inflammatory responses, patients with CGD have normal immunity to most viruses. Here, we present two CGD patients who were hospitalized due to severe COVID-19 infections, which suggests that COVID-19 might have a different pathogenesis than other viruses.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 24 | views: 50 | pages: 484-487

    Duplilumab is approved to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.  It is unclear, however, whether Dupilumab is effective for occupational hand eczema. In this article, we describe a 29-year-old nurse who developed severe hand eczema after working in a hospital for 6 years and received inadequate relief from routine treatment. Duplilumab was administered to the patient with great results.

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 30 | views: 62 | pages: 488-493

    Type 2 Griscelli syndrome (Type2 GS) is a primary inborn error of the immune system, classified in the immune dysregulation group.1,2 There are three different types of the disease, with different genetic causes responsible for the autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. Although hypopigmentation is common in all variants, neurological involvement or immunodeficiency with varying severity is seen in different types. Molecular motor protein myosin 5 an (MYo5A) [Type1GS], guanosine Triphosphate (GTP) binding protein (RAB27A) [Type2GS], and mutation in human melanophilin (MLPH) [Type 3GS] which is limited to hypopigmentation are reported as the known genetic defects in GS.3 Severe, ineffective, and uncontrolled inflammatory reactions are referred to as the pathogenesis of Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is a life-threatening condition that can be defined as either primary or secondary. Secondary causes happen in the context of autoimmunity, malignancy, spontaneous, or infections.4 Prenatal infections play an important role in causing long-term complications in the fetus. Some of them include toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and other organisms including syphilis, parvovirus, and Varicella zoster, known as TORCH syndrome (5).TORCH has been well described for a long time but there are limited reports of developing HLH in the context of prenatal infections. We described a type 2GS syndrome with neonatal-onset HLH triggered by a prenatal infection.

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