Association of interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma production by blood mononuclear cells in infancy with parental allergy skin tests and with subsequent development of atopy

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Nov;96(5 Pt 1):652-60. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(95)70264-4.


The mechanisms regulating the onset of atopic sensitization in human beings are not yet fully clarified. We assessed the capacity of mitogen-stimulated umbilical and peripheral blood mononuclear cells to produce interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) at birth and at 9 months of age in 159 infants. Mononuclear cell production of both IFN-gamma and IL-2 at 9 months, but not at birth, was found to be inversely related to parental immediate skin test reactivity to seven local aeroallergens. Skin test reactivity at the age of 6 years was also inversely related to IFN-gamma and IL-2 production at 9 months of age. However, no relationship was evident between total serum IgE levels at 6 years and production of these cytokines at 9 months. The proportions of circulating lymphocytes and CD4+ or CD8+ cells were also unrelated to skin test reactivity at the age of 6 years. These data suggest that mechanisms regulating skin test reactivity to inhaled allergens may involve deficient IFN-gamma production, deficient IL-2 production, or both during or preceding the time of initial sensitization and that additional mechanisms are involved in regulating total serum IgE level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / cytology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / etiology*
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens
  • Interleukin-2
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma