Copyright © 2010 Edyta Machura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. There are conflicting studies on T cell cytokine production in childhood asthma. In this study intracellular cytokine expression of IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, andTNF-α in CD4 + and CD8 + T cells in children with atopic asthma were measured by flow cytometry. Results. A significant increase in the percentage of CD4 + and CD8 + TcellsproducingIL-4andIL-13anddecreaseinthe percentage of CD4 + producing IFN-γ in asthmatic children was found. The percentage of CD4 + /IL-13 + was significantly higher in severe asthma than in children with intermittent disease symptoms. Severity of asthma was associated with increased both serum IgE and frequencies of CD4 + /IL-13 + T cells, as well as duration of disease. Moreover, a decrease in FEV1,FEV1/FVC was observed in relation to the severity of asthma. Changes in cytokine profile in CD8 + subpopulation didn’t depend on the severity of the disease. Conclusions. Increased production of IL-4 and IL-13 in both CD4 + and CD8 + T cells accompanied by decreased IFN-γ expression in CD4 + T cells may be evidence that both lymphocyte subpopulations are implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma. Relationship of CD4 + /IL-13 + T cells with disease activity suggests that this lymphocyte subset may have a prominent role in childhood asthma. 1
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