Egypt J Pediatr Allergy Immunol, (April 2012), Volume No. 10, Issue 01  
Egypt J Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012 ; 10 ( 01 ) : 39-43 -
, ESP - 25  
Original articles
Study of Treg FOXP3 in childhood bronchial asthma in relation to corticosteroid therapy
Tarek A. Abdel Gawad   Asmaa A. Al Sharkawy   Amal Mansour   Amira Yousef      
Background: T cells are considered the main cells responsible for production of suppressive cytokines, and play a key role in balancing the immune responses to maintain the peripheral tolerance against allergens. Objective: The present study investigates T regulatory (Treg) forkheadwinged helix protein 3 FOXP3 expression in childhood asthma and its relation to corticosteroid therapy. Methods: In this case control study, Treg FOXP3 was measured in blood of 60 children using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique. Two asthmatic groups were included, one on corticosteroid therapy (20 patients) and the other not on corticosteroid treatment (20 patients). They were compared to 20 healthy children as controls. Results: FOXP3 concentration was significantly elevated in asthmatic patients (90 ± 77.4) compared to healthy children (12.844 ± 10.6) (p= 0.000). FOXP3 was significantly more elevated in asthmatics on corticosteroids (161.158 ± 63.9) than steroid naive asthmatics (36.038 ± 23.4) (p=0.000). Levels of Treg FOXP3 in asthmatics with inhaled corticosteroids (mean 151.16 ± 53.79) were almost similar to FOXP3 in asthmatics with systemic corticosteroids (161.49±72.5) (p>0.05). FOXP3 levels did not differ with smoking, asthma severity or disease control and did not correlate with age, FEV1, blood lymphocytes percentage or eosinophils percentage. Conclusion: Asthmatics have increased expression of FOXP3, and corticosteroid therapy –whether oral or inhaled - enhances FOXP3 expression.