Background: Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 are viewed mainly as anti-inflammatory cytokines. Yet, high concentrations have also been associated with inflammation-related diseases in newborns.
Methods: We measured the concentrations of IL-4 and IL-10, as well as IL-8 and ICAM-1 in blood specimens collected on postnatal day 21 (N = 555), day 28 (N = 521), and both days 21 and 28 (N = 449) from children born extremely preterm (EP) (<28 weeks gestation) who at age 10 years had a DAS-II IQ Z-score > -2 (which approximates a score of >70) and the following assessments, CCC-2, and CSI-4, DAS-II, NEPSY-II, OWLS-II, SCQ, and WIAT-III. Selected children also were assessed with the ADI-R and the ADOS-2. We modeled the risk of low scores or dysfunctions associated with top quartile concentrations of IL-4 and IL-10 on each day and on both days.
Results: The risks of low scores on the Animal Sorting and Arrows components of the NEPSY-II, both components of the OWLS-II, and the PseudoWord and Spelling components of the WIAT-III were heightened among children who had top quartile concentrations of IL-4 on postnatal days 21 and 28. Children who had high concentrations of IL-10 on days 21 and 28, individually and collectively, were at increased risk of low scores on the WIAT-III Spelling component. High concentrations of IL-4 on day 28 were associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). High concentrations of IL-10 on day 28 were also associated with a doubling of ASD risk, but this did not achieve statistical significance. Top quartile concentrations of IL-4 and IL10 on both days were not associated with increased risk of social, language, or behavioral dysfunctions.
Conclusion: Among children born EP, those who had top quartile concentrations of IL-4 and/or IL-10 on postnatal days 21 and/or 28 were more likely than their peers to have low scores on components of the NEPSY-II, OWLS-II, and WIAT-III assessments, as well as identification as having an ASD. What is known: What is not known: What this study adds.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Developmental outcome; Inflammation; Interleukin-10; Interleukin-4; Neurodevelopment; Reading; Spelling; Very premature infant.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.