Prenatal exposure to lead and chromium is associated with IL-13 levels in umbilical cord blood and severity of atopic dermatitis: Cocoa study

Jihyun Kim, Seonwoo Kim, Sook Young Woo, Jin Yong Chung, Young Seoub Hong, Se Young Oh, Suk Joo Choi, Soo Young Oh, Kyung Won Kim, Youn Ho Shin, Hye Sung Won, Kyung Ju Lee, Soo Hyun Kim, Ja Young Kwon, Si Hyeon Lee, Soo Jong Hong, Kangmo Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There have been few studies investigating the association between atopic dermatitis (AD) and prenatal exposure to heavy metals. We aimed to evaluate whether prenatal exposure to heavy metals is associated with the development or severity of AD in a birth cohort study. A total of 331 subjects were followed from birth for a median duration of 60.0 months. The presence and severity of AD were evaluated at ages 6 and 12 months, and regularly once a year thereafter. The concentrations of lead, mercury, chromium, and cadmium in umbilical cord blood were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) were isolated and stimulated for analysis of cytokine production using ELISA. Heavy metal levels in cord blood were not associated with the development of AD until 24 months of age. However, a positive correlation was observed between the duration of AD and lead levels in cord blood (p=0.002). AD severity was also positively associated with chromium concentrations in cord blood (p=0.037), while cord blood levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium were not significantly associated with AD severity (p=0.562, p=0.054, and p=0.055, respectively). Interleukin-13 production in CBMCs was positively related with lead and chromium levels in cord blood (p=0.021 and p=0.015, respectively). Prenatal exposure to lead and chromium is associated with the persistence and severity of AD, and the immune reaction toward a Th2 polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere42
JournalImmune Network
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Atopic
  • Chromium
  • Cohort studies
  • Dermatitis
  • Fetal blood
  • Interleukin-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Kim, J., Kim, S., Woo, S. Y., Chung, J. Y., Hong, Y. S., Oh, S. Y., Choi, S. J., Oh, S. Y., Kim, K. W., Shin, Y. H., Won, H. S., Lee, K. J., Kim, S. H., Kwon, J. Y., Lee, S. H., Hong, S. J., & Ahn, K. (2019). Prenatal exposure to lead and chromium is associated with IL-13 levels in umbilical cord blood and severity of atopic dermatitis: Cocoa study. Immune Network, 19(6), [e42]. https://doi.org/10.4110/in.2019.19.e42