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Early Hum Dev. 2005 Apr;81(4):387-92. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

The influence of the mode of delivery on circulating cytokine concentrations in the perinatal period.

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Neonatal Division, 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, 19 Soultani Str, GR-10682 Athens, Greece.



Cytokines play an important role during labor and full- or preterm delivery. They influence physical immunity of the fetus-neonate and express a leading role in the perinatal period, being present in maternal and fetal tissues.


To investigate whether cytokine concentrations in the mother, fetus and neonate depend on the labor and the mode of the delivery.


Prospective study.


Seventy-eight healthy, non-smoking parturients (mean age 28+/-4, range 21-39 years, delivering vaginally: n=52 or by elective cesarean section: n=26) and their single, healthy, appropriate for gestational age, full-term neonates.


We correlated determined circulating levels of IL-2, sIL-2R, IL-4, sIL-4R, IL-6, sIL-6R, IL-1beta, IL-8, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, sTNF RI, sTNF RII and RANTES in the mothers before delivery (MS), the fetuses (UC) and the neonates in days 1 (N1) and 4 (N4) of life, with the mode of delivery.


sIL-2R in N1 and N4, sIL-4R in MS, IL-6 in MS and UC, IL-1beta in MS, UC and N1, IFN-gamma in MS and UC, TNF-alpha in UC, N1 and N4, sTNF RI in UC were significantly higher in cases of vaginal delivery than in cases of elective cesarean section (p ranging from 0.0005 to 0.05).


Vaginal delivery promotes the production of various cytokines and their receptors, which are implicated in neonatal immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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