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Th2-like chemokine levels are increased in allergic children and influenced by maternal immunity during pregnancy

Authors

  • Martina S. Abelius,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Clinical Research Centre, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    • Correspondence

      Martina Sandberg Abelius, MSc, Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

      Tel.: +46 10 1036276

      Fax: +46 13 132257

      E-mail: martina.abelius@liu.se

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  • Esma Lempinen,

    1. Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Karin Lindblad,

    1. Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Jan Ernerudh,

    1. Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Göran Berg,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Leif Matthiesen,

    1. Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden
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  • Lennart J. Nilsson,

    1. Allergy Center, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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  • Maria C. Jenmalm

    1. Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Clinical Research Centre, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
    2. Unit of Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
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Abstract

Background

The influence of the intra-uterine environment on the immunity and allergy development in the offspring is unclear. We aimed to investigate (i) whether the pregnancy magnifies the Th2 immunity in allergic and non-allergic women, (ii) whether the maternal chemokine levels during pregnancy influenced the offspring's chemokine levels during childhood and (iii) the relationship between circulating Th1/Th2-associated chemokines and allergy in mothers and children.

Methods

The Th1-associated chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, and the Th2-associated chemokines CCL17, CCL18 and CCL22 were quantified by Luminex and ELISA in 20 women with and 36 women without allergic symptoms at gestational week (gw) 10–12, 15–16, 25, 35, 39 and 2 and 12 months post-partum and in their children at birth, 6, 12, 24 months and 6 years of age. Total IgE levels were measured using ImmunoCAP Technology.

Results

The levels of the Th2-like chemokines were not magnified by pregnancy. Instead decreased levels were shown during pregnancy (irrespectively of maternal allergy status) as compared to post-partum. In the whole group, the Th1-like chemokine levels were higher at gw 39 than during the first and second trimester and post-partum. Maternal CXCL11, CCL18 and CCL22 levels during and after pregnancy correlated with the corresponding chemokines in the offspring during childhood. Increased CCL22 and decreased CXCL10 levels in the children were associated with sensitisation and increased CCL17 levels with allergic symptoms during childhood. Maternal chemokine levels were not associated with maternal allergic disease.

Conclusions

Allergic symptoms and sensitisation were associated with decreased Th1- and increased Th2-associated chemokine levels during childhood, indicating a Th2 shift in the allergic children, possibly influenced by the maternal immunity during pregnancy.

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