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Correlation of serum interleukin-31 with pruritus and blood eosinophil markers in children with atopic dermatitis

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is chronic pruritic inflammatory skin disease in children. Interleukin (IL) 31 is a recently discovered cytokine associated with chronic skin inflammation and pruritus.


The aims of this study were to determine whether serum IL-31 levels are increased in children with AD and to examine the relationship between IL-31 and other clinical biomarkers in AD.


Serum cytokine levels, including IL-31, IL-4, and IL-12, were measured in 38 patients with AD and 10 healthy children. Peripheral blood eosinophils, serum immunoglobulin E levels, eosinophil cationic protein, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) were measured. We also estimated the clinical severity of AD by using the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index by a single clinician.


The serum IL-31 levels were significantly higher in the patients with AD than in the healthy children. IL-31 correlated well with the SCORAD index and blood eosinophilic inflammatory markers. The serum level of TSLP was also higher in patients with AD than in the healthy children; however, levels of IL-4 and IL-12 were not different between AD and healthy children. There was no significant difference in serum IL-31 levels between patients with atopic AD and nonatopic AD.


This study showed that serum IL-31 levels were significantly elevated in patients with AD than in the healthy children and correlated well with disease severity. IL-31 seemed to be one of the cytokines that induce pruritus and eosinophilic inflammation in AD. Serum IL-31 correlated with pruritic symptoms and disease course of AD.
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Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Children; Eosinophil; IL-31; IgE; Pruritus; SCORAD

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea 2: Allergy Immunology Center, Korea University, Seoul, Korea, and

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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.

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    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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