Background: Diverse pathways stemming from a history of atopic dermatitis (AD) might modulate different biomarkers associated with the development of asthma. Biomarkers associated with AD and asthma separately have been investigated, but none have characterized a combined AD+asthma phenotype. We investigated the clinical and molecular characteristics associated with an AD+asthma phenotype compared with AD, asthma and controls.

Methods: From a prospective birth cohort and the outpatient allergy clinic, we included four groups of 6–12-year-old children: (1) healthy controls (2) previous, current, or present AD without asthma, (3) previous, current, or present AD and current asthma and (4) current asthma without AD. We performed clinical examinations and interviews and measured serum IgE, natural moisturizing factors (NMF), and plasma cytokine levels.

Results: We found an increased number of IgE sensitizations in AD+asthma, prominent after stratifying for food allergens (p < .05). Pro-Th2 cytokines CCL18, TSLP, and Eotaxin-3 were elevated in AD+asthma, though not significantly higher than asthma, and elevated in asthma compared with controls. NMF levels were decreased in AD compared with asthma and control groups (p = .019, p < .001, respectively). NMF levels correlated negatively to sensitization (p = .026), though nonsignificant with only the patient groups.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that Th2 cytokines and increased number of sensitizations are associated with AD + asthma phenotypes compared with AD alone and that skin barrier impairment as well as decreased airway epithelial integrity may play a role in sensitization and immune modulation. Our findings suggest candidate biomarkers that should be further explored for their functional roles and prognostic potential.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13823
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • CCL18
  • NMF
  • TSLP
  • asthma
  • atopic dermatitis
  • biomarkers
  • sensitization


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