The pattern of development of allergen-specific T cell cytokine responses in early childhood and their relation to later disease is poorly understood. Here we describe longitudinal changes in allergen-stimulated T cell cytokine responses and their relation to asthma and allergic disease during the first 8 years of life.
Subjects with a family history of asthma, who were enrolled antenatally in the Childhood Asthma Prevention Study (public trials registration number ACTRN12605000042640), had skin prick tests, clinical evaluation for asthma and eczema, and in vitro assessment of T cell cytokine responses to HDM extract performed at ages 18 months (n = 281), 3 years (n = 349), 5 years (n = 370) and 8 years (n = 275). We measured interleukin (IL-) 13 at 3, 5 and 8 years, and IL-5, IL-10, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), at 18 months, 3, 5 and 8 years by ELISA. A cohort analysis was undertaken. Independent effects of cytokine responses at each age on the risk of asthma and allergic outcomes at age 8 years were estimated by multivariable logistic regression.
HDM-specific IL-5 responses increased with age. HDM-specific IL-13 and IL-10 responses peaked at age 5 years. HDM-specific IL-5 responses at 3 years, 5 years and 8 years were significantly associated with the presence of asthma and atopy at 8 years. IL-13 responses at 3 years, 5 years and 8 years were significantly associated with atopy at 8 years, but this association was not independent of the effect of IL-5. Other HDM-specific cytokine responses were not independently related to asthma or eczema at 8 years.
HDM-specific IL-5 responses at age 3 years or later are the best measure of T cell function for predicting asthma at age 8 years.
PLoS One, 2014; 9 (5) e97995 IF: 3.534