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Cytokine. 2007 Sep;39(3):171-7. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines produced from cord blood in-vitro are pathogen dependent and increased in comparison to adult controls.

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  • 1Newborn Services Department, The George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC 20037-2342, USA. mmohamed@mfa.gwu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines may play a role in increased morbidity and mortality from neonatal sepsis. Objective of this study was to compare secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by the cord blood cells of healthy term neonates to the venous blood cells of healthy adults in vitro after stimulation with common neonatal pathogens.

METHOD:

Blood samples were cultured in the presence of heat-killed group B beta-hemolytic streptococci (GBS), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epi). Concentrations of secreted cytokines (interleukine-6, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, TNF-alpha, interleukine-1 beta, IL-1beta and interleukine-8, IL-8) were measured after 0, 1, 2 and 4 h of incubation using chemiluminescent immunometric automated assay.

RESULTS:

Blood samples from 22 neonates and 16 adults were compared. After stimulation by GBS and E. coli, cord blood cells secreted significantly higher levels of IL-6 and IL-8 than blood cells of healthy adults. In cord blood, E. coli induced secretion of higher concentration of IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-8 than S. epi, and more IL-6 than GBS; GBS induced more IL-1beta than S.epi.

CONCLUSIONS:

Response of cord blood to microbial activators is different from that of adult controls. Each isolate of heat-killed bacteria induced different amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines in vitro. This may represent a useful in vitro virulence test.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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