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Low levels of interferon-gamma in nasal fluid accompany raised levels of T-helper 2 cytokines in children with ongoing allergic rhinitis.

Journal article
Authors Mikael Benson
Inga-Lisa Strannegård
Göran Wennergren
Örjan Strannegård
Published in Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 20-8
ISSN 0905-6157
Publication year 2000
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Paediatrics
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 20-8
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Blood Proteins, metabolism, Child, Child, Preschool, Cytokines, metabolism, Eosinophil Granule Proteins, Humans, Immunoglobulin E, metabolism, Interferon-gamma, metabolism, Interleukin-10, metabolism, Interleukin-4, metabolism, Interleukin-5, metabolism, Interleukin-6, metabolism, Nasal Lavage Fluid, chemistry, immunology, Pollen, immunology, Prospective Studies, Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal, immunology, metabolism, Ribonucleases, Th2 Cells, immunology, metabolism
Subject categories Allergology, Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Pediatrics


The T-helper 2 (Th2) cytokines interleukin-(IL-) 4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10 and the Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma and their associations with eosinophil, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and immunoglobulin (Ig) E were studied in nasal lavage fluid from 60 school children with allergic seasonal rhinitis and 36 nonatopic healthy controls, before and during the pollen season. Eosinophil differential counts and IgE increased significantly in the patients during the pollen season. The eosinophil differential counts, ECP and IgE were all significantly higher during the season than in specimens simultaneously obtained from the nonatopic controls. Before season, the levels of ECP and IgE, but not eosinophils, were significantly higher in the patients than in the controls. During the season the nasal lavage fluid levels of IFN-gamma were significantly lower and the IL-4/IFN-gamma quotients significantly higher in the allergic than in the control children. In the allergic children, but not in the controls, the nasal fluid levels of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10 increased during the season, and together with IL-6, were correlated with the differential counts of eosinophils, and with the levels of ECP and IgE. These findings are compatible with the hypothesis that a deficient release of the Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma plays an important role in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Regardless of whether the defective IFN-gamma secretion is primary or a consequence of suppression by other cytokines, it will in the atopic subjects enhance the release of Th2 cytokines, which in turn will facilitate the development of allergic inflammation.

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