Supplementary Material for: Birch Pollen Immunotherapy in Mice: Inhibition of Th2 Inflammation Is Not Sufficient to Decrease Airway Hyper-Reactivity

<b><i>Background:</i></b> Suppression of Th2 cytokine production by allergen-specific Th2 cells is considered to be critical for the suppression of allergic symptoms by subcutaneous immunotherapy. The aim of this study was to develop a mouse model for birch pollen (BP) immunotherapy to elucidate the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the improvement of clinical symptoms. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Mice with BP-induced allergic airway inflammation received weekly subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) injections with BP extract (BPE) adsorbed to alum. The effect of an increasing dose of BPE adsorbed to a fixed concentration of alum on the suppression of airway inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) was determined. After 2, 4, 6 or 8 immunotherapy injections, the mice were rechallenged with the same allergen and all hallmarks of allergic asthma were evaluated. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Suppression of the immunological parameters by immunotherapy was dependent on the BPE dose. Two injections were sufficient to suppress IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-10 and IFN-G production, eosinophil recruitment and peribronchial inflammatory infiltrates. BP-specific immunoglobulins were upregulated, but this was not sufficient to reduce AHR. Eight injections were needed to suppress AHR. The gradual reduction in AHR was inversely associated with the increase of BP IgG2a. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> BP SCIT induces an early suppression of Th2-mediated eosinophilic airway inflammation, but AHR is only effectively reduced after continued SCIT conceivably by allowing IgG2a antibody titres to build up. i 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel