Spontaneous Cytokine Production in Children According to Biological Characteristics and Environmental Exposures

Figueiredo, CA; Alcantara-Neves, NM; Veiga, R; Amorim, LD; Dattoli, V; Mendonca, LR; Junqueira, S; Genser, B; Santos, M; de Carvalho, LCP; Cooper, PJ; Rodrigues, L; Barreto, ML; (2009) Spontaneous Cytokine Production in Children According to Biological Characteristics and Environmental Exposures. Environmental health perspectives, 117 (5). pp. 845-849. ISSN 0091-6765 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0800366

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BACKGROUND: Environmental factors are likely to have profound effects on the development of host immune responses, with serious implications for infectious diseases and inflammatory disorders such as asthma. OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to investigate the effects of environmental exposures on the cytokine profile of children. METHODS: The study involved measurement of T helper (Th) 1 (interferon-gamma), Th2 [interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13], and the regulatory cytokine IL-10 in unstimulated peripheral blood leukocytes from 1,376 children 4-11 years of age living in a poor urban area of the tropics. We also assessed the impact of environmental exposures in addition to biological characteristics recorded at the time of blood collection and earlier in childhood (0-3 years before blood collection). RESULTS: The proportion of children producing IL-10 was greater among those without access to drinking water [p < 0.05, chi-square test, odds ratio (OR) = 1.67]. The proportion of children producing IL-5 and IL-10 (OR = 10-76) was significantly greater in households that had never had a sewage system (P < 0.05, trend test). CONCLUSIONS: These data provide evidence for the profound effects of environmental exposures in early life as well as immune homeostasis in later childhood. Decreased hygiene (lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation) in the first 3 years of life is associated with higher spontaneous IL-10 production up to 8 years later in life.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 19478971
Web of Science ID: 265721300041
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/5280


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