Background: Analyses of circulating chemokines offer novel tools to investigate the Th1/Th2 imbalance in allergic disease in vivo and explore the influence of pre- and postnatal factors in infancy.
Objective: To relate circulating Th1- and Th2-associated chemokines to the development of allergic disease, pre- and postnatal factors and probiotic supplementation in infancy.
Methods: Circulating levels of Th1-associated CXC-chemokine ligand (CXCL)9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 and Th2-associated CC-chemokine ligand (CCL)17, CCL18 and CCL22 were assessed with Luminex and ELISA at birth (n=109), 6 (n=104), 12 (n=116) and 24 months (n=123) in 179 infants completing a double-blind placebo-controlled allergy prevention trial with Lactobacillus reuteri during the last month of gestation and through the first year of life. The infants were followed regarding development of allergic disease and sensitization until two years of age.
Results: The Th2-associated chemokines were as highest at birth and then decreased, whereas the Th1-associated chemokines increased with age. Low Th1- and high Th2-associated chemokine levels were observed in children developing allergic disease. Sensitization was preceded by elevated CCL22 and reduced CXCL11 levels. High Th2-associated chemokine46 levels were associated with increased birth length and weight and long duration of breastfeeding, and high Th1-associated chemokine levels with day-care attendance. Presence of L. reuteri in stool the first week of life was associated with low CCL17 and CCL22 and high CXCL11 levels at 6 months.
Conclusion: Allergic disease in infancy was associated with low circulating Th1- and high Th2-associated chemokine levels during the first year of life. The chemokine levels were affected by both pre and –postnatal factors.
2009. Vol. 64, 56-56 p.