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Vol. 84, No. 4, 2003
Issue release date: November 2003
Section title: Original Paper
Biol Neonate 2003;84:297–303
(DOI:10.1159/000073638)

Age-Related Changes in Intracellular Th1/Th2 Cytokine Production, Immunoproliferative T Lymphocyte Response and Natural Killer Cell Activity in Newborns, Children and Adults

Gasparoni A. · Ciardelli L. · Avanzini A. · Castellazzi A.M. · Carini R. · Rondini G. · Chirico G.
aDivision of Neonatal Intensive Care, Spedali Civili, Brescia, bResearch Laboratories (Paediatric Oncohaematology and Neonatal Immunology), Policlinico San Matteo (IRCCS) and cDepartment of Paediatrics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 4/3/2003
Published online: 11/7/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 1661-7800 (Print)
eISSN: 1661-7819 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEO

Abstract

To evaluate the development of the neonatal immune system, we measured T lymphocyte response to Con A, intracellular IL-2, IL-4, IFN-γ and IL-10 production, and natural killer cell (NKC) activity in 12 very preterm, 12 preterm and 20 term neonates, 10 children and 10 adults. Immunoproliferation to Con A was significantly lower in cord blood than in children or adults. The percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes was significantly higher in newborns while CD8+ cells were higher at older ages, with a resulting gradual decline of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio. The percentage of IL-2-producing CD4+ and CD8+ cells was higher in all newborn groups than in children and adults, while the percentage of IL-4-producing cells was higher for CD8+ and lower for CD4+ cells in cord blood than in children and adults. Neonates had substantially lower percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ IFN-γ-producing cells. A significant negative correlation was observed between gestational age and IFN-γ-CD4+-, IL-2-CD8+-, and IL-10- CD4+-producing cells. In addition, a positive correlation was found between gestational age and IL-10-CD8+-producing cells. Percentages of CD4+/CD45RA+ cells were higher and CD4+/CD45RO+ percentages were lower in newborns than in children and adults. NKC activity in infants was significantly correlated with gestational age and significantly impaired compared to children and adults. On the whole, these results suggest a gradual development of immunity during gestation and show significant immaturity of cellular immune response at birth. The reduction of NKC activity, the lower proliferative response of T cells, the reduced cytotoxic response and a dysregulated cytokine production may contribute to the neonatal increased risk of infection and to the low incidence of graft-versus-host disease after cord blood transplantation.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 4/3/2003
Published online: 11/7/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 1661-7800 (Print)
eISSN: 1661-7819 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEO


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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