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J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181(5):1590-7. Epub 2000 May 15.

Influence of human immunodeficiency virus-infected maternal environment on development of infant interleukin-12 production.

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  • 1Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Monocyte-derived cytokine production by cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC) from infants born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and -negative women was measured to determine whether monocyte dysfunction could contribute to the accelerated HIV disease of pediatric patients. Production of interleukin (IL)-12, but not that of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and IL-10, was reduced, compared with adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This deficiency was more pronounced in infants of HIV-positive women, whose IL-12 production was also deficient. CBMC IL-12 levels were increased by interferon-gamma and CD40 ligand but remained deficient, compared with PBMC. IL-12 production was undetectable in 7 of 8 HIV-positive infants, in contrast to 21 of 26 uninfected infants. Uninfected infants of infected women exhibited an intermediate profile. These findings suggest that the maternal environment and/or exposure in utero to HIV products influence the newborn's immune response and that the differences between infants born to HIV-positive and -negative women may persist.

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