Sulphidoleukotriene release of cord blood basophils in response to allergen stimulation correlates with neither a family history of atopy nor a subsequent development of atopic eczema


Dr Matthias Kopp, University Children's Hospital, Mathildenstraße 1, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany. E-mail:


Objective We tested a possible relationship between sulphidoleukotriene (SLT) release of cord blood (CB) basophils, a family history of atopy (HA) and subsequent development of atopic eczema.

Population and methods A cohort of 86 neonates were involved (48.8% males; 46.5% with a positive HA+). CB samples were analysed for in vitro SLT release quantified by ELISA, and in a subgroup for basophilic activation (CD 63 expression) by flow cytometry in response to a positive control (anti-IgE-receptor antibody), an allergen-mix (TOP and PTOP), egg white (EW), egg yolk (EY), and the purified allergens β-lactoglobulin (BLG) and α-lactalbumin (ALA).

Results Median concentrations of SLT were 124.2 (negative), 3871.5 (positive), 123.9 (TOP), 128.5 (PTOP), 113.1 (EW), 108.4 (EY), 125.2 (BLG) and 122.3 (ALA) pg/mL. Groups of HA+ and HA show no difference in all analysed allergens. An allergen-specific SLT release (defined as SLT>125 pg/mL above individual baseline and a stimulation index >2) was detected in 98% (positive control), 5% (TOP), 7% (BLG), 3% (ALA) and 2% (EW and EY), respectively. After a median observation period of 18 months, n=7 out of 70 children developed an atopic eczema, but we observed no association between CB SLT release (positive response to at least one tested allergen).

Conclusion Allergen-specific SLT release is detectable in 15.5% of healthy neonates, irrespective of their family history of atopy. However, early allergen-specific SLT release is not predictive for the development of atopy.