Methods: Using flow cytometry, we measured surface CD63 and CD203c on basophil and Dectin 1, CD16, CD63 and CD66b on blood and induced sputum neutrophils as well as surface CCR3 (eotaxin receptor) on eosinophils from CF-ABPA (N=11), CF-AC (N=9), and CF (N=10) patients. We also studied the blood granulocytes from patients with celiac disease as controls. We measured serum IL-17 by Elisa.
Results: No differences were observed within the three groups of CF patients in any activation surface markers on blood neutrophils or on IL-17 levels. Levels of surface CCR3 on blood eosinophils and CD203c on basophils were increased in CF-ABPA patients compared to CF-AC (0.04 and <10-3respectively). In the sputum, the levels of surface CD66b were higher on the neutrophils from patients with CF compared to CF-AC (P=0.03).
Conclusions: Blood neutrophil activation profiles are similar in CF, CF-AC and CF-ABPA patients, while the observed increased expression of CCR3 on blood eosinophils from patients with CF-ABPA indicates the systemic immunopathology of this complication, complements our previously described activation of blood basophils in CF-ABPA (ERJ accepted).