Cytokine biomarker candidates in breast milk associated with the development of atopic dermatitis in 6-month-old infants

Shingo Ochiai, Naoki Shimojo, Yoshinori Morita, Minako Tomiita, Takayasu Arima, Yuzaburo Inoue, Mayuko Nakaya, Naoki Uehara, Yasunori Sato, Chisato Mori, Yoichi Suzuki, Yoichi Kohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A few studies have reported that the quantity of selected cytokines/chemokines in breast milk might be associated with atopic dermatitis (AD). Using the multiplex cytokine assay system, we examined cytokines/chemokines in human milk in order to identify new biomarkers related to AD. Methods: We recruited 49 infants with or without AD who participated in a birth cohort and measured the concentrations of cytokines/chemokines in the colostrum (collected within 4-5 days after birth) and mature milk (collected at 1 month postpartum) received by the infants. Results: There were significant differences in the concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-12p40 in the colostrum, and in those of IL-4, eotaxin, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interferon (IFN)-α2 and MIP-1α in the mature milk between the milk received by infants who developed AD at the age of 6 months and that received by the control infants. There was weak to moderate correlation between those 6 cytokines/chemokines in mature milk. Atopic history and IgE levels of mothers were not related to cytokine/chemokine concentrations in breast milk. Logistic regression analyses showed that high levels of eotaxin in the mature milk were a risk for the development of AD at 6 months of age. Conclusion: These results suggest that several cytokines/chemokines, especially eotaxin, are potential biomarkers for development of AD in early infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Breast milk
  • Chemokine
  • Cytokine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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