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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2004 Jan-Mar;15(1):67-72.

Spontaneous and stimulated interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production at delivery and three months after birth.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health, National Public Health Institute, Kuopio, Finland.



To study the production and interrelations of maternal and neonatal cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-alpha) during labor, after vaginal delivery and at three months after delivery.


The unstimulated concentrations of cytokines in the supernatants of whole-blood cultures and concentrations after PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) and concanavalin (conA) stimulation were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). The blood samples were from the peripheral veins of 27 healthy women during term labor and immediately after delivery and three months after delivery. Neonatal samples were taken at birth (cord blood) and three months after delivery.


IL-6 responses to stimulation were increased in the parturients and in umbilical cord blood at delivery compared with maternal and neonatal samples obtained 3 months postpartum. In contrast, the production of maternal TNF-alpha in peripheral blood was down-regulated at delivery compared with values 3 months postpartum. After an IL-6 and TNF-alpha burst in umbilical cord samples, neonatal cytokine production was at a low level three months after delivery. IL-6 production tended to be higher in both umbilical cord blood as well as in maternal samples after delivery in women who were younger. In addition, TNF-alpha production in umbilical cord blood was significantly higher in those women who were younger.


The production of IL-6 was up-regulated in both the maternal and in umbilical cord blood at delivery. The production of TNF-alpha was up-regulated in umbilical cord blood compared with neonatal values 3 months after birth. Maternal age had effects on IL-6 and TNF-alpha production at delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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