Methods: Breast milk(BM) from mothers of 22 healthy infants and 16 infants with allergic symptoms were collected. Cytokines were measured by magnetic beads immunoassays.
Results: There were 7 infants with atopic dermatitis(AD) and 9 infants with food-induced urticaria(Ur). All AD patients expressed symptoms during breastfed while urticarial patients developed symptoms only with infant allergen ingestion. IL-4 and IL-5 were not detected in BM of Ur but presented in 28% and 57.1% of AD group, respectively.Concentrations of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 were higher in mothers of AD infants than in Ur group with significant difference in IL-5(p=0.012). IL-2 was not detected in BM of mothers of allergic infants but presented in 21% of control group(p=0.049). When maternal atopic history was considered, IL-13 and IL-17 were significantly higher in BM of mothers with asthma compared to non-asthmatic ones(p=0.019, p=0.027 respectively). Level of TGF-β and IL-10 in BM were neither associated with maternal atopic history nor infant allergic manifestations.
Conclusions: Cytokines profiles in breast milk vary among maternal atopic history and infants with allergic manifestations. Maternal asthma is the strongest factor affecting cytokine profiles. While regulatory cytokines were not different among groups, TH2 cytokines tend to be higher in BM of AD infants.