Limited effect of selected organic pollutants on cytokine production by peripheral blood leukocytes

Sabrina Devos, Rosette Van Den Heuvel, Robert Hooghe, Elisabeth L Hooghe-Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


To test the hypothesis that some persistent organic pollutants contribute to the increased prevalence of allergic disease, the effects of selected compounds on cytokine production by PBMC from control and allergic donors were evaluated. Cells were cultured for six days in the presence of a xenobiotic (PCB 153, hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorobenzene, pentachlorophenol, lindane, atrazine or DMSO vehicle) with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus extract, then for one day in the presence of PHA + phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. PCB 153 reduced the levels of IL-10, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Hexachlorobenzene reduced the levels of IL-5, IL-10 and IFN-gamma. Pentachlorobenzene reduced IL-6 levels. Pentachlorophenol reduced IL-5 levels. Lindane and atrazine reduced both IL-5 and IFN-gamma. In addition, lindane reduced TNF-alpha levels. As these compounds had similar effects on cells from allergic and non-allergic donors, and as these effects were, in all cases, very limited indeed, the potential deleterious impact of the xenobiotics tested on the allergic response seems unlikely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2004


  • Adult
  • Bodily Secretions
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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