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Evaluation of the concentration of Proinflammatory/Pro Th1 Cytokines IFN- and TNF-α and anti inflammatory/Pro Th2 Cytokines IL-13 and IL-4 in breast milk and their relationship to atopic dermatitis

Keywords: atopic dermatitis , breastfeeding , cytokine , ELISA , IFN- γ , IL-13 , IL-4 , TNF-α

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Abstract:

Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most common chronic, highly pruritic and inflammatory skin diseases. The exclusive influence of breastfeeding in the prevention of inflammatory diseases is a matter of debate. In this study, we aimed to determine the concentration of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-13 (IL-13) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) cytokines as anti Th2 or anti Th1 cytokines in breast milk and their relationship with atopic dermatitis in breastfed infants.Methods: This study carried out in Afzalipour Hospital of kerman during one year from 2010 to 2011, we selected 50 breastfed infants with AD as cases and 50 healthy infants without AD or any other allergic disease as the controls. The concentrations of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were measured by ELISA in the mothers' milk. The demographic characteristics were recorded in a data collection form. Moreover, severity of the disease was determined by SCORAD index. T-test and logistic regression were used for assessment of the correlation among study variables. Results: The concentrations of IFN-γ and IL-13 were significantly higher (respectively, P=0.04, and P=0.02) in the case group. However, logistic regression revealed that only IFN-γ significantly increased the risk for atopic dermatitis (P=0.02). Concentration of TNF-α was similar in the milk from mothers belonging to the two groups.Conclusion: The results indicate that the concentrations of IFN-γ, IL-13 and IL-4 cytokines are higher in the milk of mothers whose infants have AD. However, the risk for atopic dermatitis increases by 49% by every ten-unit (in pg/mL) increase in the level of IFN-γ.

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