P>The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between humoral and cell-mediated immune response parameters and impairment of immune functions in children with Down syndrome (DS). The patient group was consisted of cytogenetically documented 32 children with DS. Lymphocyte subsets and natural killer cells were counted by flow-cytometry system. Levels of interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Serum IgG, IgM, IgA levels were measured by turbidimetric methods. The percentage of CD8+ lymphocytes and CD56+ cells of patients with DS were significantly higher, whereas CD20+ lymphocytes were lower than that of controls (P < 0.05). The percentage of CD2 and CD4 levels and CD4/CD8 ratio of patients with DS and normal controls were similar (P > 0.05). Levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were significantly increased, but IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels were decreased in children with DS (P < 0.05). Levels of other studied cytokines between patients with DS and controls were not statistically different (P > 0.05, for all). Serum IgG, IgM and IgA levels were found to be similar between the groups (P > 0.05). It has been known that IL-4 and IL-10 are anti-inflammatory molecules which inhibit the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha. In this study, levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were significantly increased, but IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels were decreased in children with DS. These results may suggest that continuing anti-inflammatory state in DS and this process may explain the cause of recurrent infection of the disease. On the other hand, in contrast to the low percentage of CD20+ cells, high percentage of CD8+ and CD56+ cells were found. Our findings may demonstrate that the cell-mediated and humoral immune system parameters in children with DS were altered according to healthy children.