IL-4 production by PBMCs on stimulation with mite allergen is correlated with the level of serum IgE antibody against mite in children with bronchial asthma

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Although IL-4, IL-13, and IFN-γ are known to affect IgE synthesis, it remains unclear which one plays the most important role in in vivo IgE synthesis in atopic patients.


The aim of this study is to clarify the difference in importance among these cytokines in up-regulation of IgE synthesis in atopic patients.


We measured IL-4, IL-13, and IFN-γ production by PBMCs on stimulation with house dust mite (HDM) in 23 children, 3 to 15 years old, with bronchial asthma (BA) and analyzed the correlation with HDM-specific IgE antibody levels expressed as HDM IgE radioallergosorbent test (RAST) results.


The production of IL-4 and IL-13 by PBMCs on stimulation with HDM was significantly higher in children with BA than in nonatopic control subjects (IL-4, 752.9 ± 365.9 vs 312.3 ± 230.0 fg/mL, P < .001; IL-13, 21.9 pg/ml [<12.0-77.6] vs <12.0, P < .01). IL-4 production showed a close positive correlation with HDM IgE RAST (r = 0.71, P < .001), which was distinctly stronger than that between IL-13 production and HDM IgE RAST (r = 0.46, P < .05). IFN-γ production was neither different between children with BA and nonatopic control subjects (7.24 [1.54-33.90] pg/mL vs 11.2 [1.66-75.9] pg/mL) nor correlated with HDM IgE RAST levels. Essentially the same result was obtained by stimulation of PBMCs with a purified HDM major allergen Der f 1.


IL-4 is likely to be the most important cytokine in up-regulation of in vivo IgE synthesis against HDM in children with BA.

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