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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2, Issue 6, Pages 411-415
Research paper

In vitro interleukin 4 and interferon-gamma production by mononuclear cells from atopic dermatitis patients

Department of Nutrition, Fachhochschule Fulda, FB HE, Marquardstr. 35, Fulda 36039, Germany

Received 7 July 1993; Accepted 2 September 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to elucidate further the possible role of specific cytokines in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) the in vitro production of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in patients with severe atopic dermatitis (n = 4) was compared with that in a group of non-atopic healthy controls. Overall IL-4 production by PHA- and PWM-driven PBMNCs was increased in controls during the first 48 h in culture. Addition of interleukin 2 (IL-2) into parallel cultures generated an insignificant (p > 0.05) increase in IL-4 production in AD patients compared with that from controls. IFN-γ production by PWM-stimulated PBMNCs was markedly decreased in AD patients compared with controls (p < 0.01). Addition of IL-2 (250 U/ml) to parallel cultures failed to restore IFN-γ production in AD patients. Finally, no IL-4 or IFN-γ activity could be detected in any of the sera. In conclusion, the data suggest a possible dysregulation of cytokine production in at least a subgroup of AD patients, with an impaired capacity to secrete IFN-γ, but a partially intact IL-4 generating capacity.