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Pregnancy modulates the allergen-induced cytokine production differently in allergic and non-allergic women.

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eMediNexus    16 September 2017

A new study published in the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology investigated the effect of maternal allergy on allergen-induced cytokine and chemokine levels, and whether pregnancy modulates these immune responses differently in allergic and non-allergic women. This study entailed quantification of birch-, cat-, phyto-hemagglutinin- and tetanus toxoid-induced interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, the T-helper 1 (Th1)-associated chemokine CXCL10, and Th2-associated chemokine CCL17 levels in 20 women with allergic symptoms and 36 women without allergic symptoms at gestational weeks 10-12, 15-16, 25, 35, and 2 and 12 months postpartum. It was observed that birch-, but not cat-induced IL-5, IL-13, and CCL17 levels were increased during pregnancy in comparison with postpartum in sensitized women with allergic symptoms. In contrast, cat-, but not birch-induced IL-5 and IL-13 levels were increased during pregnancy as compared to postpartum in the non-sensitized women without allergic symptoms. Additionally, IFN-γ secretion was increased in the first and decreased in the second and third trimesters in response to birch, and decreased in the third trimester in response to cat, when compared to postpartum in the non-sensitized women without allergic symptoms. Furthermore, increased allergen-induced IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 levels were associated with allergic symptoms and sensitization. Hence, it was inferred that pregnancy had an obvious effect on allergen-induced IL-5, IL-13, CCL17, IFN-γ, and CXCL10 production, with distinct enhanced Th2-responses to birch in the allergic group and to cat in the non-allergic group.

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