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Elevation of plasma eotaxin levels in children with food allergy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Mizonokuchi Hospital, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan.



Eosinophils play an important role in allergic responses. Eotaxin is a CC chemokine that promotes the selective recruitment of eosinophils. This study was performed to investigate the significance of eotaxin in pediatric food allergies.


The study population included 35 patients with food allergy, 18 patients with atopic dermatitis but without food allergy, and 19 age-matched non-allergic controls. Eotaxin-1 and eotaxin-3 levels in plasma were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Simultaneously, eosinophil counts in peripheral blood and serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) values were assessed.


Plasma eotaxin-1 levels were 93.6+/-33.4 pg/ml in patients with food allergy, 78.0+/-31.8 pg/ml in patients with atopic dermatitis, and 60.4+/-15.7 pg/ml in controls. Differences between the food allergy and control groups were significant (P<0.001). Circulating eosinophil counts in patients with food allergy were higher than those in controls (5.84+/-9.46x10(9)/l vs. 1.20+/-1.11x10(9)/l, P<0.001). Nevertheless, eotaxin-1 levels in children with food allergy were not correlated with eosinophil counts or serum IgE levels. There were no significant differences in eotaxin-3 levels between the 3 groups.


Plasma levels of eotaxin-1 were elevated in children with food allergy. The pathophysiological relevance of the increase in eotaxin is discussed.

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