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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2006; 52, 2, 33-37




Klinika Otolaryngologii Dziecięcej Akademii Medycznej im. K. Marcinkowskiego

ul. Szpitalna 27/33, 60-572 Poznań

Kierownik: prof. dr hab. n. med. Michał Grzegorowski

* Klinika Fizjoterapii, Reumatologii i Rehabilitacji Akademii Medycznej im. K. Marcinkowskiego

ul. 28 Czerwca 1956 roku 135/147, 61-545 Poznań

Kierownik: dr hab. med., prof. AM Włodzimierz Samborski



Introduction: Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory disorder of upper respiratory tract (about 15 per cent of the population in industrialized countries suffer from this condition), characterized by frequent sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose sometimes accompanied by watery eyes. As the most common allergic condition, allergic rhinitis affects people of all ages. Boys are twice as likely to get allergic rhinitis than girls. The median age of onset of the condition is 10 years old, meaning that equal numbers of children develop the condition before and after age 10. Symptoms usually appear in childhood first and then lessen by the age of 30 or 40. Seasonal allergic rhinitis usually results from tree, grass or weed pollen. With this type of rhinitis, symptoms will decrease with the arrival of cold weather. Perennial allergic rhinitis can cause year-round symptoms. This allergic reaction is the result of indoor irritants such as feathers, mold spores, animal dander (hair and skin shed by pets) or dust mites. It is often aggravated by a food allergy, the most common being an allergy to milk.

Acute phase proteins (APP) belong to the most ancient part of the unspecific immunity and contribute markedly to the keeping of homeostasis. As much as 30 various proteins are for the moment regarded as APP. Being multifunctional regulators and effectors APP stay in multiple relations to practically all types of cells and molecules. Among APP following functional groups may be described: transport proteins (transferrin, ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin), clotting factors (fibrinogen), antiproteases (alpha1-ntitrypsin, alpha1-antichymotrypsin, alpha2-macroglobulin), complement components (C3, C4) and several proteins of hardly known function, like C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A, acid alpha1-glycoprotein (AGP) and others.

Material and methods: From a group of 32 children, aged from 5 to 14 years, with symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, and from a control group of 10 healthy children sex and age matched, blood sample was taken after written parents’ consent. In all children skin tests (Stallergens) were performed at the beginning of the year. Any reaction was present in the control group. Following proteins were analyzed: CRP, AGP, alpha1-antichymotrypsin (ACT), transferrin, ceruloplasmin (Cp), alpha1-antitrypsin, haptoglobin and alpha2-macroglobulin (A2M).

Results: C-reactive protein level was very low, what allowed us to exclude all acute conditions. As expected, AGP and ACT concentrations were not elevated, either, and even non significantly lower values were observed in allergic children in comparison to controls. It is worth noticing that transferrin concentration was statistically lower in allergic children, as well as A2M and Cp concentrations. All this suggest an on-going disturbance in cytokine network that may directly affect both the iron metabolism and the nonspecific immunity.

Conclusions: It may be stated that allergic rhinitis causes impairment of acute phase proteins synthesis, which may affect natural defense or homeostasis in the immune system of a child.

K e y w o r d s: allergic rhinitis − acute phase proteins.
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