PURPOSE The nephrotic syndrome (NS) is characterized by the favorable response to glucocorticoid therapy and the development of NS may be associated with dysfunctional immune systems. In order to investigate the serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and cytokines activity in pediatric NS, the total of 32 steroid responsive NS patients and 5 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. MATERIALS AND METHODS All patients were divided into two groups according to the initial serum IgE levels, such as normal and high IgE group, and their clinical characteristics were evaluated. In addition, serum levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β were compared and correlated with serum albumin, proteinuria by means of disease severity, and cytokines. RESULTS In the high IgE group, the higher comorbidity of allergic diseases and relapsing rate, the longer duration of steroid therapy before initial remission, and the higher serum IL-4 and IL-5 levels were found. In all patients, initially higher serum levels of IL-4 and IL-5 declined to normal levels after steroid therapy, whereas the serum IL-10 levels showed no significant difference between nephrotic phase (heavy proteinuria) and remission phase (no proteinuria) of NS. The serum TGF-β levels of the nephrotic phase were significantly lower than those of remission phase or control group, and returned to normal control levels after steroid therapy. CONCLUSION This study indicates that initial IgE level is associated with steroid responsiveness and disease severity, and cytokine activities may also be related to the pathogenesis of pediatric steroid responsive NS.