Nonylphenol can aggravate allergic rhinitis in a murine model by regulating important Th cell subtypes and their associated cytokines.Int Immunopharmacol 2019; 70:260-267II
Nonylphenol (NP) is a widely distributed, toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical exhibiting estrogenic activity. However, its effect on allergic rhinitis (AR) remains unclear. In this study, the effects of NP on a murine model of AR were investigated. Mice were divided into ovalbumin (OVA), NP, and control groups. OVA was used for sensitization and challenge. Mice in the NP group were administered NP during the sensitization period. Allergic nasal symptoms and eosinophil counts in nasal mucosa were measured. Serum levels of OVA-specific IgE were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The mRNA levels of transcription factors of Th cells were determined with real-time polymerase chain reaction. Th cell subtypes and Treg numbers were counted with the aid of multi-color flow cytometry. Cytokine concentrations in nasal mucosa were determined using the cytometric bead array method. Subcutaneous injection of NP into mice exhibiting AR enhanced not only the nasal allergic symptoms, but also eosinophil infiltration and OVA-specific IgE. Moreover, NP upregulated IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-9, IL-6 and IL-17, and downregulated IL-10, in the AR mouse model; IFN-γ and IL-23 were not affected. Transcription factors and Th cell percentages were evaluated to determine whether NP regulates Th cell subtypes in an AR mouse model. GATA3, PU.1, and RORγt levels were significantly increased, but FoxP3 and Helios were decreased. In addition, Th2, Th9, and Th17 subtype percentages significantly increased, and Treg cell percentages decreased, in NP administration groups; the percentage of Th1 subtypes was not affected. NP enhanced allergic inflammation in the AR mouse model through upregulation of Th2, Th9, and Th17 responses and negative regulation of Treg responses. These results suggest that NP may be trigger AR.