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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Jan;107(1):153-9.

Antibiotic use during infancy promotes a shift in the T(H)1/T(H)2 balance toward T(H)2-dominant immunity in mice.

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1
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent epidemiologic studies indicate that antibiotic use in infancy may be associated with an increased risk of development of atopy; however, its precise mechanism remains to be elucidated.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study is to clarify whether one such antibiotic, kanamycin, affects the T(H)1/T(H)2 balance.

METHODS:

BALB/c mice at 3 and 52 weeks of age were orally administered 600 mg/d kanamycin sulfate for 7 consecutive days. Blood samples were collected on weeks 0, 10, 18, and 26 after the cessation of kanamycin treatment, and the effect of the kanamycin treatment on the T(H)1/T(H)2 balance was evaluated on the basis of both the in vivo antibody levels and the in vitro splenocyte cytokine secretion pattern.

RESULTS:

The administration of kanamycin increased the serum levels of total IgG1 and IgE while decreasing the serum IgG2a levels. Moreover, when spleen cells were stimulated with immobilized anti-CD3 antibody in vitro, such kanamycin treatment enhanced the in vitro IL-4 secretion while reducing the in vitro IFN-gamma secretion. The basal IL-12 p70 secretion levels of splenic dendritic cells in the kanamycin-treated mice were lower than those in the control mice, although no significant difference was seen in IL-12 p40 levels between either group of mice.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggested that antibiotic use during infancy may indeed quantitatively disturb, qualitatively disturb, or both the intestinal microflora and thereby prevent postnatal T(H)1 cell maturation, thus resulting in a T(H)2-polarized immune deviation.

PMID:
11150005
DOI:
10.1067/mai.2001.111142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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