Author(s): Renz H, mutius Ev, Illi S, Wolkers F, Hirsch T,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Lower prevalence rates for childhood respiratory allergies have been reported in eastern Germany than in western Germany. OBJECTIVE: Because allergic phenotypes are thought to be associated with an unbalanced T(H)1/T(H)2 T cell effector response, a cross-sectional investigation was carried out as part of the German ISAAC Phase II study to determine whether T(H)1/T(H)2 capacity might have developed in different directions during the separation between the 2 parts of the country. METHODS: In a community-based random sample of 9- to 11-year-old (n = 6399) and 5- to 7-year-old (n = 6202) children in eastern and western Germany, the prevalence of atopy was assessed. Heparinized blood samples were collected from a subgroup of children stratified according to the number of older siblings. T(H)1 and T(H)2 cytokine productivity was determined after stimulation with phorbol ester plus ionomycin. RESULTS: Individuals who grew up in eastern Germany had a marked bias toward T(H)0 responsiveness (>60\%), regardless of whether they were atopic. In contrast, the children of western Germany, particularly when they were atopic, showed T(H)2 polarization. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first epidemiologic survey to demonstrate regional differences in the T(H)1/T(H)2 response pattern and their relation to atopic disease between regions.
This article was published in J Allergy Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy