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Scand J Immunol. 2009 Aug;70(2):149-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2009.02282.x.

Influence of maternal hyperglycaemia on cord blood mononuclear cells in response to diabetes-associated autoantigens.

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Department of Paediatrics, 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


Perfect maternal diabetes compensation is crucial for the outcome of the baby. However, little is known how hyperglycaemia influences the specific immune response. Furthermore, babies of type 1 diabetes (T1D) mothers have less risk of development T1D than babies with a T1D father. This study aimed to analyze the effect of maternal hyperglycaemia on newborns with focus on the response to diabetes-associated autoantigens.


(1) Newborns of T1D mothers split into groups according to maternal diabetes compensation during the 3rd trimester: perfect (n = 15) or acceptable (n = 25) compensation. (2) newborns with T1D father (n = 12) (3) newborns with a mother treated for either gestational or type 2 diabetes (n = 10) (4) control newborns (n = 25). Spontaneous as well as diabetes-associated autoantigen-stimulated production of 23 cytokines and chemokines were tested using protein microarray. In addition, the influence of glucose on cytokine and chemokine responsiveness was analyzed in vitro. The study groups differed in their spontaneous as well as stimulated cytokine and chemokine spectra. A prominent Th1 response (high IFN-gamma) from autoantigen stimulation was observed especially in babies of T1D fathers (P = 0.001) and also in mothers with perfect diabetes compensation during the 3rd trimester (P = 0.016) in comparison with control newborns. By contrast, cord blood mononuclear cells cultivated in vitro in high glucose concentration decreased the diabetogenic stimulated Th1 cytokine response. Maternal 'sweet' as well as 'autoimmune environment' may both lead to lower occurrence of T1D within their offspring. Further studies will reveal the exact immunological mechanism of this observation.

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