Patterns of immune development in urban preschoolers with recurrent wheeze and/or atopy

James E. Gern, Agustin Calatroni, Katy F. Jaffee, Henry Lynn, Amy Dresen, William W. Cruikshank, Howard M. Lederman, Hugh A. Sampson, Wayne Shreffler, Leonard B. Bacharier, Peter J. Gergen, Diane R. Gold, Meyer Kattan, George T. O'Connor, Megan T. Sandel, Robert A. Wood, Gordon R. Bloomberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background Disadvantaged urban children have high rates of allergic diseases and wheezing, which are diseases associated with type 2–biased immunity. Objective We sought to determine whether environmental exposures in early life influence cytokine responses that affect the development of recurrent wheezing illnesses and allergic sensitization. Methods A birth cohort of 560 urban families was recruited from neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, and 467 (83%) children were followed until 3 years of age. Cytokine responses were measured in blood cell samples obtained at birth (cord blood) and ages 1 and 3 years. Cytokine responses were examined in relation to personal characteristics and environmental exposures to allergens and endotoxin and to the development of allergic sensitization and recurrent wheeze assessed at age 3 years. Results Cytokine responses generally increased with age, but responses at birth were poorly predictive for those at ages 1 and 3 years. Exposure to certain allergens (cockroach, mouse, dust mite) was significantly associated with enhanced cytokine responses at age 3 years, including IFN-α and IL-10 responses to certain stimulants and responses to phytohemagglutinin. Regarding the clinical outcomes, reduced LPS-induced IL-10 responses at birth were associated with recurrent wheeze. In contrast, reduced respiratory syncytial virus–induced IL-8 responses and increased 5′—cytosine—phosphate—guanine—3′ (CpG)-induced IL-12p40 and allergen-induced IL-4 responses were associated with atopy. Conclusions These findings suggest that diverse biologic exposures, including allergens and endotoxin, in urban homes stimulate the development of cytokine responses in early life, and that cytokine responses to specific microbial and viral stimuli are associated with the development of allergic sensitization and recurrent wheeze.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-844.e7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Cytokines
  • allergy
  • children
  • cord blood
  • immune development
  • mononuclear cells
  • wheezing


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of immune development in urban preschoolers with recurrent wheeze and/or atopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this