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The role of IL-18 in Th1/Th2 balance in children

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Interleukin (IL)-18 has been identified as a mediator inducing interferon  release from type 1 helper (Th1) cells, CD8+ T cells, and natural killer cells, synergizing with IL-12. Several studies report differential roles of IL-18; but little is known about the role of IL-18 in Th1/Th2 balance in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of IL-18 in Th1- and Th2-mediated diseases of children. Serum IL-18 levels were measured in a group of patients with acute asthma exacerbation (n = 24), in a group of patients who had recently been diagnosed as type I insulin– dependent diabetes mellitus (n = 18), and in a group of healthy subjects (n = 20). The groups were compared with respect to IL-18 levels. Significantly lower serum IL-18 levels were found in patients with acute asthma (median, 8.55 pg/mL) and insulin– dependent diabetes mellitus (median, 7.20 pg/mL) than in control subjects (median, 140.10 pg/mL; p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). We suggest that IL-18 may play an immunoregulatory role in allergic and autoimmune diseases and decreased expression of IL-18 can shift the immune responses to both Th1- and Th2-mediated ways.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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