Clinical efficacy of omalizumab in chronic spontaneous urticaria is associated with a reduction of FcεRI-positive cells in the skin Metz, Martin; ; ; Brehler, Randolf; Gericke, Janine; Kangas, Michael; Ashton-Chess, Joanna; Jarvis,
Erpenbeck, Veit J.
Clinical efficacy of omalizumab in chronic spontaneous urticaria is associated with a reduction of FcεRI-positive cells in the skin
Background. Treatment with omalizumab, a humanized recombinant monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, results in clinical efficacy in patients with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU). The mechanism of action of omalizumab in CSU has not been elucidated in detail.
Objectives. To determine the effects of omalizumab on levels of high affinity IgE receptor-positive (FcεRI+) and IgE-positive (IgE+) dermal cells and blood basophils. Treatment efficacy and safety were also assessed.
Study design. In a double-blind study, CSU patients aged 18‑75 years were randomized to receive 300 mg omalizumab (n=20) or placebo (n=10) subcutaneously every 4 weeks for 12 weeks. Changes in disease activity were assessed by use of the weekly Urticaria Activity Score (UAS7). Circulating IgE levels, basophil numbers and levels of expression of FcεRI+ and IgE+ cells in the skin and in blood basophils were determined.
Results. Patients receiving omalizumab showed a significantly greater decrease in UAS7 compared with patients receiving placebo. At Week 12 the mean difference in UAS7 between treatment groups was -14.82 (p=0.0027), consistent with previous studies.
Total IgE levels in serum were increased after omalizumab treatment and remained elevated up to Week 12. Free IgE levels decreased after omalizumab treatment.
Mean levels of FcεRI+ skin cells in patients treated with omalizumab 300 mg were decreased at Week 12 compared with baseline in the dermis of both non-lesional and lesional skin, reaching levels comparable with those seen in healthy volunteers (HVs). There were no statistically significant changes in mean FcɛRI+ cell levels in the placebo group. Similar results were seen for changes in IgE+ cells, although the changes were not statistically significant.
The level of peripheral blood basophils increased immediately after treatment start and returned to Baseline values after the follow-up period. The levels of FcεRI and IgE expression on peripheral blood basophils were rapidly reduced by omalizumab treatment up to Week 12.
Conclusions. Treatment with omalizumab resulted in rapid clinical benefits in patients with CSU. Treatment with omalizumab was associated with reduction in FcɛRI+ and IgE+ basophils and intradermal cells.
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