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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Risk of allergy development correlates with IL-4 receptor expression on newborns’ monocytes and Th lymphocytes

Katarzyna Grzela, Tomasz Grzela, Grażyna Korczak-Kowalska, Katarzyna Bocian, Wiesława Sonczyk, Urszula Jędrasiak, Justyna Niderla-Bielińska, Maciej Łazarczyk, Wioletta Zagórska, Anna Zawadzka-Krajewska, Wojciech Feleszko, Marek Kulus

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(10): CR445-448

ID: 502386

Available online:

Published: 2007-10-01

Background: IL-4 receptor (IL-4R) overexpression on immunoregulatory/effector cells was found in allergic patients. However, its role in allergy development remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between IL-4R expression and allergy development within the first year of life.
Material/Methods: IL-4R expression on monocytes and Th lymphocytes of 43 newborns was analyzed using flow cytometry. Plasma levels of IL-4, -12 and IFN-γ were also measured using ELISA. The same parameters were assessed one year later. Furthermore, clinical evaluation was performed every three months for one year.
Results: Mean IL-4R expression on monocytes and Th lymphocytes did not differ at birth. After one year it increased on Th-lymphocytes and decreased on monocytes. However, among 10 children with severe atopy during the observation period, 8 displayed IL-4R above the mean value for the group on both monocytes and Th cells at birth as well as one year later. No correlation was found between IL-4 or IFN-γ and IL-4R expression at birth. After one year, significant IL-4 increases and IFN-γ decreases were observed which correlated with IL-4R expression. IL-4R expression on the newborns’ monocytes correlated negatively with IL-12 plasma level; however, it was statistically significant only in the children developing allergy. Moreover, only in these patients was a significant decrease in IL-12 found after one year.
Conclusions: IL-4R-dependent over-signaling in newborns’ monocytes and Th lymphocytes could contribute to Th1/Th2 imbalance. IL-4R overexpression on newborns’ monocytes and lymphocytes could be an early risk marker of allergy development.

Keywords: Cytokines - blood, Cell Separation, Antigens, CD14 - metabolism, Hypersensitivity - immunology, Infant, Newborn, Monocytes - immunology, Receptors, Interleukin-4 - immunology, Risk Factors, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer - immunology