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J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Jun;75(6):982-94. Epub 2004 Feb 24.

Defective macrophage function in neonates and its impact on unresponsiveness of neonates to polysaccharide antigens.

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University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0230, USA.


Neonates do not respond to thymus-independent (TI) antigens (Ag), making them vulnerable to infection with encapsulated bacteria. The antibody (Ab) response of adult and neonatal B cells to TI Ag requires certain cytokines, which are provided by T cells or macrophages (MPhi). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) failed to induce neonatal MPhi to produce interleukin (IL)-1beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA and to secrete IL-1beta, IL-12, and TNF-alpha. However, LPS induced neonates to secrete some IL-6 and three- to fivefold more IL-10 than adults. Accordingly, adding adult but not neonatal MPhi could restore the response of purified adult B cells to trinitrophenol (TNP)-LPS, a TI Ag. Increased IL-10 is causally related to decreased IL-1beta and IL-6 production, as IL-10(-/-) neonatal MPhi responded to LPS by secreting more IL-1beta and IL-6 than wild-type (WT) neonatal MPhi. When cultures were supplemented with a neutralizing Ab to IL-10, WT neonatal MPhi secreted increased amounts of IL-6 and allowed neonatal MPhi to promote adult B cells to mount an Ab response against TNP-LPS. Thus, neonates do not respond to TI Ag as a result of the inability of neonatal MPhi to secrete cytokines, such as IL-1beta and IL-6, probably as a result of an excess production of IL-10. This dysregulated cytokine secretion by neonatal MPhi may be a result of a reduction in expression of Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2) and TLR-4 and CD14.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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