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Pediatr Res. 2012 Feb;71(2):136-43. doi: 10.1038/pr.2011.26. Epub 2011 Dec 21.

Neonatal T-cell maturation and homing receptor responses to Toll-like receptor ligands differ from those of adult naive T cells: relationship to prematurity.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Inflammation and infection are associated with premature birth and with activation of the fetal immune system. We hypothesized that exposure to microbial Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands plays an important role in neonatal T-cell maturation and that early exposure to microbial products may result in early T-cell maturation and a tendency for these matured effector cells to change their homing receptor patterns.

RESULTS:

Expression of the CD45RO marker was induced in term neonatal T cells after in vitro exposure to TLR ligands for 7 days. Interestingly, naive T cells from adult blood were unaffected by TLR ligand exposure. In addition, neonatal T cells had more cells with decreased expression of the α4β7 integrins and increased expression of CCR4 after in vitro exposure of TLR ligands-similar to the expression of these molecules in adult naive T cells.

DISCUSSION:

These findings are relevant for the understanding of neonatal T-cell maturation and may contribute to our understanding of multiorgan inflammatory complications of prematurity.

METHODS:

Cord blood was obtained from term and preterm infants. Using flow cytometry, we identified a mature (CD45RO(+)) phenotype in preterm infant cord blood (CB) T cells that had decreased expression of the α4β7 integrins and increased expression of the C-C chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) as compared with term infant CB.

PMID:
22258123
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3394681
Free PMC Article

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