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Cytokine profile in children with asthma undergoing food challenges.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Allergology, Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland. anetkrog@poczta.onet.pl



The influence of food allergens on the profile of inflammatory markers in children with asthma has not been investigated. To ascertain the influence of food allergens on the intensity of the inflammatory process, a cytokine profile was determined before and after a food challenge test in the peripheral blood of children with asthma and coexistent food allergy.


We studied 22 children with asthma and immunoglobulin (Ig) E-dependent food allergy. Oral challenge tests were carried out using double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC). Blood was sampled before, and 4 and 24 hours after the oral challenge test. The inflammatory markers interleukin (IL) 4, IL-5, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) a, intereron (IFN)-gamma, sIL-2R, and sCD23 were evaluated. The level of cytokines in serum was determined using a commercial enzyme-linked immunoassay Bender Med Systems (Vienna, Austria).


The median IL-4 level before the challenge test was 23.5 pg/mL, after 4 hours it was 38.8 pg/mL, and after 24 hours it was 35.4 pg/mL. The median IL-5 levels measured at the same time points were 4.6 pg/mL, 5.7 pg/mL, and 7.5 pg/mL. A significant increase in IL-4 and IL-5 levels 4 hours (P = .0006; P = .006) and 24 hours (P = .014; P = .015) after food challenge was observed. No statistically significant differences in the levels of the other cytokines during allergen or placebo challenge tests were recorded.


Determination of plasma IL-4 and IL-5 levels can be a useful tool for evaluation of the effects of food challenge tests on children with asthma and coexisting IgE-dependent food allergy. The results of determining serum IL-10, TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL) IFN-gamma, sIL-2R, and sCD23 levels during the challenge test are not significant.

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