Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

IL-10 in Human Newborns

Ontogeny of IL-10 secretion and relation to the secretion of IFN-g, immunoglobulin M, G, and A, and mononuclear cell composition in newborns

Anna Kotiranta-Ainamo

Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine.

The purpose of this work was to elucidate the ontogeny of interleukin-10 (IL-10) secretion from newborn mononuclear cells (MCs), and to examine its relation to the secretion of interferon-g (IFN-g) and immunoglobulins (Igs). The initial hypothesis was that the decreased immunoglobulin (Ig) synthesis of newborn babies was the result of immature cytokine synthesis regulation, which would lead to excessive IL-10 production, leading in turn to suppressed IFN-g secretion.

Altogether 57 full-term newborns and 34 adult volunteers were enrolled. Additionally, surface marker compositions of 29 premature babies were included. Enzyme-linked immunoassays were used to determine the amount of secreted IL-10, IFN-g, and Igs, and the surface marker composition of MC were analyzed with a FACScan flow cytometer.

The three most important findings were:

1. Cord blood MC, including CD5+ B cells, are able to secrete IL-10. However, when compared with adults, the secretion of IL-10 was decreased. This indicates that reasons other than excessive IL-10 secretion are responsible of reduced IFN-g secretion in newborns.

2. As illustrated by the IL-10 and IFN-g secretion pattern, newborn cytokine profile was skewed towards the Th2 type. However, approximately 25% of newborns had an adult like cytokine profile with both good IL10 and IFN-g secretion, demonstrating that fullterm newborns are not an immunologically homogenous group at the time of birth.

3. There were significant differences in the surface marker composition of MCs between individual neonates. While gestational age correlated with the proportion of some MC types, it is evident that there are many other maternal and fetal factors that influence the maturity and nature of lymphocyte subpopulations in individual neonates.

In conclusion, the reduced ability of neonates to secrete Ig and IFN-g is not a consequence of high IL-10 secretion. However, individual newborns differ significantly in their ability to secrete cytokines as well as Igs.

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Last updated 24.05.2006

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