Cytokine levels and profiles in children related to sickle cell disease and asthma status

Jennifer Knight-Madden, Diego Vergani, Richard Patey, Karl Sylvester, Munther J Hussain, Terrence Forrester, Anne Greenough

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Atopic asthma in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with an increased risk of acute chest syndrome (ACS). Cytokine-mediated inflammation might explain this association. Studies of cytokine profiles in patients with SCD have yielded conflicting data, but the possible influence of asthma status has not been examined. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that cytokine levels and profiles in SCD children reflected their asthma status. Samples from 155 Jamaican children (80 had SCD) and 64 British children (53 had SCD) who had their asthma status documented were analyzed for the presence and levels of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon (IFN)-gamma; they were also classified by their T helper cell (Th) cytokine profile. Jamaican children with SCD, when compared with Jamaican controls, were more likely to be diagnosed with asthma (P = 0.001), more likely to be IL-4 positive (P <0.001), and more likely to be classified as having a Th-2 pattern (<0.001). In contrast, British children with SCD, when compared with the British controls, were less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma (P = 0.04) and less likely to be classified as having a Th-2 pattern (P = 0.006). Regression analysis demonstrated that amongst Jamaican children, SCD status, but not asthma status, ACS history, or gender, was predictive of IL-4 positivity and Th-2 status (P <0.001). In British children, none of those variables were significant predictors of IL-4 positivity or Th status. Cytokine profiles differed between Jamaican and British children. In the Jamaican children they reflected SCD, but not asthma or ACS status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Humans
  • Cytokines
  • Asthma
  • Child
  • Th2 Cells
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell
  • Child, Preschool


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