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Pediatr Res. 2002 Feb;51(2):201-6.

Aberrations in placental cytokine mRNA related to intrauterine growth retardation.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, Göteborg University, S-413 46 Göteborg, Sweden.


During normal pregnancy, a predominance of Th2 type cytokines prevails and is considered to protect the fetus. Animal experiments suggest that an increase of Th1 type cytokines may instead have deleterious effects. We have studied with the reverse transcription PCR technique mRNA for IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, transforming growth factor-beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interferon-gamma in placentas from full-term appropriately grown newborns, newborns with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and newborns who were only small for gestational age. The mRNA for IL-10 was significantly reduced in the IUGR placentas (p < 0.05), whereas the mRNA for IL-8 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) for the IUGR cases compared with the full-term neonates. It might be that reduced IL-10 in the placenta is involved in the pathogenesis of IUGR.

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