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Pediatr Res. 2011 Nov;70(5):495-500. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31822f2411.

High cord blood levels of the T-helper 2-associated chemokines CCL17 and CCL22 precede allergy development during the first 6 years of life.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping SE-581 85, Sweden.


Exposure to a strong T-helper 2 (Th2)-like environment during fetal development may promote allergy development. Increased cord blood (CB) levels of the Th2-associated chemokine CCL22 were associated with allergy development during the first 2 y of life. The aim of the present study was to determine whether CB Th1- and Th2-associated chemokine levels are associated with allergy development during the first 6 y of life, allowing assessment of respiratory allergic symptoms usually developing in this period. The CB levels of cytokines, chemokines, and total IgE were determined in 56 children of 20 women with allergic symptoms and 36 women without allergic symptoms. Total IgE and allergen-specific IgE antibody levels were quantified at 6, 12, 24 mo, and 6 y of age. Increased CB CCL22 levels were associated with development of allergic sensitization and asthma and increased CCL17 levels with development of allergic symptoms, including asthma. Sensitized children with allergic symptoms showed higher CB CCL17 and CCL22 levels and higher ratios between these Th2-associated chemokines and the Th1-associated chemokine CXCL10 than nonsensitized children without allergic symptoms. A pronounced Th2 deviation at birth, reflected by increased CB CCL17 and CCL22 levels, and increased CCL22/CXCL10 and CCL17/CXCL10 ratios might promote allergy development later in life.

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