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Int J Obes (Lond). 2017 May 10. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.113. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal cytokine status may prime the metabolic profile and increase risk for obesity in children.

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Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Environmental Immunology, Leipzig, Germany.
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Systems Biology, Leipzig, Germany.
Children's Hospital, Municipal Hospital "St. Georg", Leipzig, Germany.
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Halle (Saale), Germany.
University of Leipzig, Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy and Psychology, Institute of Biochemistry, Leipzig, Germany.


BACKGROUNDThe maternal inflammation status during pregnancy has been associated to metabolic imprinting and obesity development in the child. However the influence of the maternal Th2 cytokines IL4, IL5 and IL13 has not been studied so far.METHODSWe investigated the relationship between maternal innate (IL6, IL8, IL10 and TNFα) and adaptive (IFNγ, IL4, IL5 and IL13) blood cytokine levels at 34 weeks of gestation and children's overweight development until the age of three years in 407 children of the German longitudinal LINA cohort. Children's body weight and height were measured during the annual clinical visits or acquired from questionnaires. BMI Z-scores were calculated according to the WHO reference data to adjust for child's age and gender. Cytokine secretion was stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and measured by cytometric bead assay. Furthermore we assessed metabolic parameter in blood of 318 children at age one of age using the AbsoluteIDQ p180 Kit (Biocrates LIFE Science AG).RESULTSApplying logistic regression models, we found that an increase of maternal IL4 and IL13 was associated with a decreased risk for overweight development in one and two-year-old children. This effect was consistent up to the age of three years for IL13 and mainly concerns children without maternal history of atopy. Children's acylcarnitine concentrations at one year were positively correlated with maternal IL13 levels and inversely associated with the BMI Z-score at age one.CONCLUSIONWe were able to show for the first time that the maternal Th2 status might be linked inversely to early childhood overweight development accompanied by an altered metabolic profile of the fetus. However our data do not support a direct mediating role of acylcarnitines on maternal IL13 induced weight development.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 10 May 2017. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.113.

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