METHODS: 24 patients (13 females/ 11 males) mean age 32.0 +/- 7.5 years were studied. All had both positive skin prick tests to house dust mites ( D.pteronyssinus and D.farinae) allergens and increased specific IgE to D.pteronyssinus and D.farinae with symptoms of AR. AIT was given to 16 patients with initial weekly injections of D.pt -50% and D.far - 50% allergen extract (Novo Helisen Depot, Allergopharma , Germany) over 2 years. The control group consisted of 10 AR subjects (mean age 24.7 +/- 4.5 yr) on pharmacotherapy. The concentration of MEK1 in serum was determined by EIA (Assay Designs, USA).
RESULTS: Serum MEK1 concentrations were similar in all at the beginning of the study (584.3 ± 142.6pg/ml; controls 566.5 ± 144,4 pg/ml). After 1 year of AIT reduction of MEK-1 concentration in serum occurred with 462.0±144.9 pg/ml, after 2 years being 428.1±148.6 pg/ml, being statistically significant. In controls no significant changes occurred in MEK-1 serum levels (598.4.±166.6 and 541.3 ± 152.2 pg/l). AIT gave greater reduction of rhinitis symptoms. Reduction of MEK-1 concentration correlated with decrease in severity of rhinitis symptoms (r=0.42; p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Decreased concentration of MEK1 with AIT suggests an influence on kinase activity. Reduction of MEK1 may be due to AIT reducing allergic nasal inflammation more effective than pharmacotherapy.