Background: The effect of low dose radiation on immune system is shown. Ionizing radiation can affect cytokine production and polarization of T helper cells.
Objective: The current study focused on ionizing radiation in Ukrainian children residing in a contaminated area with clinical irritable bowel syndrome.
Method: Our study included 75 rural children population aged 4-18 yrs, who lived in a contaminated area exposed to natural environmental radiation with clinical irritable bowel syndrome (categorized in three groups) and 20 rural children participants aged 5-15 yrs who were living in areas with similar levels of radioactive contamination without clinical irritable bowel syndrome as control group. Internal radiation activity was measured by gamma-ray spectrometry. Serum levels of IL-4 and IFN-γ were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: A trend towards increased levels of IL-4 was observed in children with clinical irritable bowel syndrome. In these children, IFN-γ levels were lower than that of the control group.
Conclusion: The IBS symptoms in Ukrainian children residing in a contaminated area may have stemmed from Th1 to Th2 immune deviation and differential expression of IL-4 and IFN-γ.