JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The role of cytokines in the functional activity of phagocytes in blood and colostrum of diabetic mothers.

Immune response changes induced by diabetes are a risk factor for infections during pregnancy and may modify the development of the newborn's immune system. The present study analyzed colostrum and maternal and cord blood of diabetic women to determine (1) the levels of the cytokines IFN- γ and TGF- β and (2) phagocytic activity after incubation with cytokines. Methods. Colostrum and maternal and cord blood samples were classified into normoglycemic (N = 20) and diabetic (N = 19) groups. Cytokine levels, superoxide release, rate of phagocytosis, bactericidal activity, and intracellular Ca(2+) release by phagocytes were analyzed in the samples. Irrespective of glycemic status, IFN- γ and TGF- β levels were not changed in colostrum and maternal and cord blood. In maternal blood and colostrum, superoxide release by cytokine-stimulated phagocytes was similar between the groups. Compared to spontaneous release, superoxide release was stimulated by IFN- γ and TGF- β in normoglycemic and diabetic groups. In the diabetic group, cord blood phagocytes incubated with IFN- γ exhibited higher phagocytic activity in response to EPEC, and maternal blood exhibited lower microbicidal activity. These data suggest that diabetes interferes in maternal immunological parameters and that IFN- γ and TGF- β modulate the functional activity of phagocytes in the colostrum, maternal blood, and cord blood of pregnant diabetic women.

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