Document Type




Format of Original

7 p.

Publication Date



Mary Ann Liebery Inc.

Source Publication

Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1089/jir.1997.17.481


T cell cytokines play an important role in mediating airway inflammation in asthma. The predominance of a Th2 cytokine profile, particularly interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5, is associated with the pathogenesis and course of asthma. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a stressful life event alters the pattern of cytokine release in asthmatic individuals. Thirteen healthy controls and 21 asthmatic adolescents gave blood samples three times over a semester: midsemester, during the week of final examinations, and 2-3 weeks after examinations. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-4, and IL-5 were measured from supernatants of cells stimulated with PHA/PMA for 24 h. Cells from asthmatic subjects released significantly more IL-5 during the examination and postexamination periods, whereas cells from healthy controls released significantly more IL-2 during the midsemester and examination periods, thereby indicating a bias for a Th2-like pattern in asthmatics and a Th 1-like pattern in healthy controls. IL-4 and IL-5 production showed a marked decrease during and after examinations in healthy controls, whereas this decline was absent in asthmatics. The ratios of IFN-γ:IL-4 and IFN-γ:IL-5 also revealed significant changes in the profile of cytokine release across the semester. These results indicate differential cytokine responses in asthmatics that may become pronounced during periods of cellular activation.


Published version. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Vol. 17, No. 8 (August 1997): 481-487. DOI. © 1997 Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Used with permission.

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