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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • cradle cap;
  • eosinophil/basophil progenitors;
  • indoor chemical exposure;
  • LINA ;
  • 1-year-old children;
  • smoking;
  • VOC

Abstract

Background

Hematopoietic progenitor cells, especially those committed to the Eo/B lineage, are known to contribute to allergic inflammation.

Objective

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether environmental factors are associated with changes in numbers of circulating Eo/B progenitors at 1 year of age.

Methods

Peripheral blood from 60 1-year-old children enrolled in the LINA (Lifestyle and environmental factors and their Influence on Newborns Allergy risk) birth cohort was assessed for Eo/B progenitor cells (Eo/B CFU) using standardized and validated methylcellulose assays. Frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were cultured in the presence of IL-3, IL-5 or GM-CSF, and Eo/B CFUs enumerated. Clinical outcomes and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) were documented by standardized questionnaires, and indoor volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations were assessed by passive sampling.

Results

Children with skin manifestations (atopic dermatitis or cradle cap) within the first year of life had higher numbers of circulating IL-3-, IL-5- or GM-CSF-stimulated Eo/B CFUs (P < 0.05) at 1 year. In children with cradle cap, a positive correlation was found between Eo/B CFUs and exposure to ETS-related VOCs during pregnancy or at 1 year of age (P < 0.05).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

This is the first demonstration that environmental exposures are positively associated with levels of circulating Eo/B progenitors. The recruitment and differentiation of Eo/B progenitors in response to environmental triggers may play a role in the development of skin manifestations during the first year of life.