Intracellular cytokine production in children with atopic dermatitis: effect of levocetirizine treatment

Fadia Mahmoud, Nermina Arifhodžić, Rana Al-Awadhi, David Haines


Objective - The aim of this study was to evaluate intracellular cytokine production in peripheral blood of children with atopic dermatitis (AD) before and following 2 weeks of treatment with levocetirizine.

Patients and Methods - Ten Kuwaiti children having mild to moderate AD were enrolled in the study. Following levocetirizine treatment, the clinical symptoms and flow cytometric analysis of T cell intracellular cytokines were evaluated.

Results - The drug-treated children exhibited a reduction in percentages of eosinophil count (p < 0.05) as well as the major clinical symptoms, itching/scratching (p < 0.05) and the subsequent bleeding of lesions (p < 0.01); however the total symptom score was not significantly changed. Levocetirizine treatment was also associated with a reduction in IL-5 and IL-13 along with an increase in IL-10 expression on CD4+ T cells (p < 0.05). Trends for correlation of change in cytokine expression with clinical symptom score after treatment were noted, but failed to attain statistical significance.

Conclusions - An immunoregulatory function for leveocetirizine is suggested by the present study, however such a claim may be more definitively made in future studies if trends established here prove consistent with larger sample number.


Levocetirizine; Atopic dermatitis; Children; Cytokines

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