Resource Logo

Reciprocal age-related patterns of allergen-specific T-cell immunity in normal vs. atopic infants.


Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Nov;28 Suppl 5:39-44; discussion 50-1. Unique

By adulthood there is almost universal immunological memory to aeroallergens, and the presence of allergic disease appears to be related to the nature of the underlying T-helper (Th) cell cytokine responses. The hypothesis of this study is that adult patterns of allergen specific Th-cell memory (Th-2 polarized in atopics vs. Th1 in non-atopics) can be determined in early infancy. Mononuclear cell cytokine responses to house-dust mite were measured at 6-monthly intervals from birth to 2 years of age, using ELISA (IL-10, IL-13, IFN-gamma) and sqRT/PCR (IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, IFN-gamma) in normal infants (n = 14) with no family history or allergic symptoms, and infants with a family history and definite atopy by 2 years (n = 16). Both normals and atopics showed low-level Th2 skewed allergen-specific responses at birth with little accompanying IFN-gamma. The Th2 responses to house-dust mite were higher in normal newborns, who then show a rapid downregulation of these responses in the first year of life. Atopic infants instead show a consolidation of their neonatal patterns of Th2 polarized allergen specific immunity. Earlier studies indicate that neonates at high risk of atopy display diminished capacity for production of the Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma. The present study suggests for the first time that neonates who subsequently develop atopy also initially have reduced capacity to mount Th2 responses. However, in contrast to non-atopics who selectively downregulate their fetal Th2 polarized allergen-specific responses, atopic children display age-associated upregulation of Th2 immunity.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Aging Allergens/*IMMUNOLOGY Animal Child, Preschool Cytokines/BIOSYNTHESIS Dust Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Human Hypersensitivity, Immediate/*IMMUNOLOGY Immunologic Memory Infant Infant, Newborn Lymphocyte Transformation Mites/*IMMUNOLOGY Ovalbumin/IMMUNOLOGY RNA, Messenger/METABOLISM Support, Non-U.S. Gov't T-Lymphocytes/*IMMUNOLOGY Tetanus Toxoid/IMMUNOLOGY Th1 Cells/IMMUNOLOGY/METABOLISM Th2 Cells/IMMUNOLOGY/METABOLISM


Information in this article was accurate in July 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.