T cell subsets and cytokines in allergic and non-allergic children. I. Analysis of IL-4, IFN-? and IL-13 mRNA expression and protein production

H. Koning, H.J. Neijens, M.R.M. Baert, A.P. Oranje, H.F.J. Savelkoul

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72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-13 are key cytokines inducing switching to immunoglobulin E (IgE), whereas interferon (IFN-) acts inhibitory on this process. We analysed whether differences existed in IL-4, IFN- and IL-13 mRNA expression and protein production between T cells of children with allergic and non-allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis and healthy control children. IL-4 mRNA expression was increased in stimulated T cells of children with allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis, but not in those with non-allergic asthma as compared with healthy controls. Thus the increase in IL-4 expression can be considered as an underlying mechanism of the allergic disease process and not so much of the asthmatic state of the children. In unstimulated T cells of children with atopic dermatitis increased IFN- mRNA expression with a reduced IFN- protein production was found, indicating a post-translational defect in IFN-. Differences in Il-13 expression between the groups were not significant, but IL-13 was significantly correlated with the height of the radio-allergo-sorbent test (RAST) class and with the severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD) index. This indicates the clinical relevance of IL-13 for the degree of allergen-specific sensitization and severity of atopic dermatitis. In conclusion, the imbalance in IL-4 and IFN- secretion in patients with atopic dermatitis may reflect general T cell activation in the presence of an intrinsic defect of IFN- secretion. Author Keywords: allergy; children; IL-4; IFN-; IL-13
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-426
JournalCytokine
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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