Reduced interferon-gamma secretion in neonates and subsequent atopy

Lancet. 1994 Oct 8;344(8928):983-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(94)91641-1.


Low interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion has been found in individuals with active atopic disease. Whether this is a cause or result of the disease process is uncertain. Cord blood IFN-gamma secretion was examined in 35 neonates who were then prospectively followed up for 1 year for the development of atopic disease. Infants who developed either symptoms of atopic disease or a positive IgE-mediated skin prick test at 12 months of age produced significantly less IFN-gamma at birth compared with those who did not (p = 0.005). This reduced secretion of IFN-gamma at birth indicates that the defect in interferon secretion is a primary component of the atopic state rather than an effect of the disease process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry
  • Fetal Blood / cytology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / physiopathology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Tests


  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma