As shown in the representative histogram of Figure 4
, top left, a, the ex vivo expression of Bcl-2 in the T cells of a patient with allergic asthma was lower than that of a control subject (Fig 4, top right, b). The expression of Bcl-2 in T cells from this patient and others with allergic asthma was significantly lowered when compared with the control subjects (MFI, 21.3 [IQR, 14.1 to 30.2] vs 36.3 [IQR, 24.2 to 51.6]; p < 0.001) [Fig 5
, top, a]. The in vitro Bcl-2 expressions of T cells cultured with or without DEX for asthmatic patients (Fig 4, top middle left, c, bottom middle left, e, and bottom left, g) were lower than those of control subjects (Fig 4, top middle right, d, bottom middle right, f, and bottom right, h). The expression of Bcl-2 protein on T cells from both asthmatic patients and control subjects was not significantly altered while receiving treatment in vitro with DEX (0.1 and 1.0 μM; all p > 0.05), while the in vitro expression of Bcl-2 was significantly lower in asthmatic patients compared to healthy control subjects (medium only, 35.0 [IQR, 28.2 to 41.8] vs 38.0 [IQR, 32.7 to 43.5], respectively; 0.1 μM DEX, 32.5 [29.6 to 39.9] vs 40.0 [33.3 to 43.6], respectively; 1.0 μM DEX, 34.4 [29.8 to 39.6] vs 36.4 [33.9 to 43.8], respectively; all p < 0.05) [Fig 5, bottom, b].