Spontaneous Cytokine Production in Children According to Biological Characteristics and Environmental Exposures.
The study measured T helper (Th) 1 (interferon-gamma) , Th2 [interleukin (IL) -5 and IL-13], and the regulatory cytokine IL-10 in unstimulated peripheral blood leukocytes from 1,376 children 4–11 years of age living in a poor urban area of the tropics. It also assessed the impact of environmental exposures in addition to biological characteristics recorded at the time of blood collection and earlier in childhood (0–3 years before blood collection). The proportion of children producing IL-10 was greater among those without access to drinking water. The proportion of children producing IL-5 and IL-10 was significantly greater in households that had never had a sewage system. These data provide evidence for the profound effects of environmental exposures in early life as well as immune homeostasis in later childhood. Decreased hygiene (lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation) in the first 3 years of life is associated with higher spontaneous IL-10 production up to 8 years later in life. Environ Health Perspect. 2009;117:845-9.
Publication Type: Journal article
Publisher: Environmental Health Perspectives