Decrease in interleukin-21 in children suffering with severe atopic dermatitis

Sheng-Chieh Lin, Ya-Hui Chuang, Yao-Hsu Yang, Bor-Luen Chiang

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a kind of eczema with an inflammatory, relapsing, non-contagious, and pruritic skin disorder. It is associated with the local infiltration of T helper type 2 (Th2) cells that secrete interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5. IL-21 is a member of IL-2 family cytokine mainly expressed by activated CD4+ T lymphocytes. Until now, there is no clinical research in the expression of IL-21 in patients with AD. Methods: We analyzed serum levels of total immunoglobulin E (IgE), allergen-specific IgE, and cytokines IL-4, IL-5, IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-21 in AD cases and controls. In addition, cytokine levels in the culture supernatants of peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 Abs, phytohemagglutin (PHA), or pokeweed mitogen (PWM) were measured. We also assessed clinical skin severity by Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index. Results: Our results showed that serum total IgE in the case group was significantly higher than that of control group (365.449±52.945 and 39.243±7.605IU/ml, respectively). Logistic regression analysis system reveals serum levels of IL-21 and IFN-γ are significantly correlated. However, IL-21 and IL-4, IL-21 and IL-5, as well as IL-21 and IL-17 showed no correlation. Conclusion: A significantly decreased level of IL-21 was observed in children suffering with severe AD compared with controls, suggesting that IL-21 may play a role in AD. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-875
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Allergy
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • IgE isotype switch
  • Interleukin-21
  • CD28 antigen
  • CD3 antigen
  • CD4 antigen
  • gamma interferon
  • immunoglobulin E
  • interleukin 17
  • interleukin 21
  • interleukin 4
  • interleukin 5
  • phytohemagglutinin
  • pokeweed mitogen
  • article
  • atopic dermatitis
  • CD4+ T lymphocyte
  • child
  • clinical article
  • controlled study
  • cytokine release
  • disease severity
  • female
  • human
  • immunoglobulin blood level
  • male
  • peripheral blood mononuclear cell
  • priority journal
  • Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis index
  • scoring system
  • supernatant
  • T lymphocyte activation
  • Th2 cell
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD28
  • Antigens, CD3
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukins
  • Male
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Pokeweed Mitogens
  • Th2 Cells


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