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In vitro cytokine production and phenotype expression by blood mononuclear cells from umbilical cords, children and adults

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Age related differences in immunological reactions include variations in the in vitro functions of blood mononuclear cells (MNC). In an attempt to understand the mechanism behind these differences we examined age related differences in the phenotype profiles of MNC in parallel with the in vitro production of interleukin IL-6, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interferon gamma (IFNg) in neonates, children and adults. In cultures without added polyclonal activators IL-6 and TNF alpha levels in children were 3-6 times higher than those of umbilical cords and adults. However, using optimal in vitro stimulation (E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS), phytohaemmagglutinin or pokeweed mitogen (PWM)) no significant differences in the levels of these cytokines were observed. The levels of IFNg in PWM driven cultures followed a different pattern with comparable levels in children and adults, and unmeasurable levels in cord blood MNC. Flow cytometry analysis of the phenotypic distribution of MNC revealed age related differences in the expression of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD14, CD19, CD45RA, CD45R0, CD2, LFA-1, ICAM-1 and LFA-3. Correlation studies did not indicate that the observed differences in cytokine production could be ascribed to differences in the frequency of monocytes, T cells or B cells. The TNF alpha levels in suboptimally stimulated cultures correlated negatively with the expression of LFA-3 and positively with CD45RA, while IFNg correlated positively with CD2, LFA-1, CD45R0 and CD8. In conclusion, the study provides evidence of age related differences in the production of TNF alpha, IL-6 and IFNg among neonates, children and adults. These differences may to some extent be caused by differences in the expression of cell surface molecules involved in cellular interactions and signalling.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Vol/bind7
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)117-24
Antal sider8
ISSN0905-6157
StatusUdgivet - 1 aug. 1996

ID: 33494082