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Prenatal priming of cord blood T lymphocytes by microbiota in the maternal vagina.

American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

microbiology, Young Adult, immunology, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cross-Priming, Female, Antigens, CD45, Fetal Blood, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Interferon-gamma, analysis, Interleukin-12, Interleukin-4, Lactobacillus, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Pregnancy, Vagina, Adolescent, Adult

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      In the vagina of women at the reproductive age, more than 170 strains of bacteria and yeasts are found. The effect of vaginal flora on neonatal T cells is yet to be investigated. We analyzed CD45RA and CD45RO expression on neonatal CD4+ T cells and cytokine production in CBMC cultures (interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma ), interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-12) related to vaginal bacteria isolated from a maternal vagina. We collected vaginal swabs from 36 women at the first stage of the delivery and cord blood from their newborns. IFN-gamma, IL-4, and IL-12 in stimulated CBMC were measured and the expression of CD45RA/CD45RO on CD4+ T cells was assessed. We noted the difference in CD45RO CD4+ expression and IL-12 levels between the newborns whose mothers were or were not colonized with Lactobacillus in the vagina (newborns whose mothers were colonized with Lactobacillus: CD45RO-10%+/-3; IL-12-0.2 pg/mL +/- 0.05; newborns whose mothers were not colonized with Lactobacillus: CD45RO-6%+/-3; IL-12-2.0 pg/mL +/- 0.7). Our results may indicate that lactobacilli in maternal vagina influence the development of neonatal immune system. Yet, more research is needed using specified bacterial antigens.

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