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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lymphocyte subpopulations, cytokines and trace elements in asymptomatic atopic women exposed to an urban environment.

This study evaluates the immune response to exposure to an urban environment from 30 non-atopic and 30 non-symptomatic women with history of respiratory and/or cutaneous allergies. Blood lymphocyte subsets and serum interleukin (IL) 4 and interferon gamma ( INF-gamma) of the two groups were similar, while serum IgE and "in vitro" production of IL-4 and INF-gamma by mononuclear blood cells of the atopic women were higher spontaneously or in the presence of PHA, respectively. Blood lead of the nonatopic women (mean 55 microg/l) was positively correlated with CD4+-CD45RO-, CD3+-CD8+ and CD3--HLA-DR+ lymphocyte subsets, while urinary trans-trans muconic acid (a metabolite of benzene) of both groups of women (mean about 50 microg/l) was significantly correlated with NK CD16+CD56+ lymphocytes. Urine chromium of the non-atopic subjects was significantly correlated with activated T, B and NK HLA-DR+ cells. Urine nickel of both groups of women was correlated with CD4+-CD45RO+ "memory" lymphocytes and their ratio with CD4+-CD45RO- "virgin" lymphocytes suggesting that the metal enhances maturation of "virgin" into "memory" lymphocytes. On the whole, this study demonstrates that exposure to low levels of toxic agents, produced by vehicular traffic in an urban environment, exerts effects on immune functions of women.[1]


  1. Lymphocyte subpopulations, cytokines and trace elements in asymptomatic atopic women exposed to an urban environment. Boscolo, P., Di Gioacchino, M., Sabbioni, E., Di Giacomo, F., Reale, M., Volpe, A.R., Di Sciascio, M.B., Conti, P., Giuliano, G. Life Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
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