Comparison of neonatal T regulatory cell function in Papua New Guinean and Australian newborns

Authors

  • Joanne G. Lisciandro,

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
    2. School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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  • Susan L. Prescott,

    1. School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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  • Marie G. Nadal-Sims,

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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  • Catherine J. Devitt,

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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  • William Pomat,

    1. Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
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  • Peter M. Siba,

    1. Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
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  • Patrick G. Holt,

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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  • Deborah Strickland,

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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    • Both authors contributed equally to this work

  • Anita H.J. van den Biggelaar

    1. Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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    • Both authors contributed equally to this work

    • Present address: Crucell, Innovation & Discovery Lab, Archimedesweg 4-6, 2333 CN, The Netherlands


Anita H.J. van den Biggelaar, Crucell, Innovation & Discovery Lab, Archimedesweg 4-6, 2333 CN, The Netherlands.
Tel.: +31 71 519 9144
Fax: +31 71 519 9800
E-mail: Anita.vandenBiggelaar@Crucell.com

Abstract

To cite this article: Lisciandro JG, Prescott SL, Nadal-Sims MG, Devitt CJ, Pomat W, Siba PM., Holt PG, Strickland D, van den Biggelaar AHJ. Comparison of neonatal T regulatory cell function in Papua New Guinean and Australian newborns. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011: Doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2011.01242.x.

Abstract

Background:  Environmental changes, including declining microbial exposure, have been linked with the rising incidence of allergic and autoimmune diseases in ‘western’ populations. This potentially occurs by altering early development of immuno-regulatory pathways including T regulatory cells (Treg). There is now increasing evidence that such conditioning begins in utero.

Methods:  We compared neonatal Treg from children born under typical western conditions (Australia, AUS) with those of neonates born under more traditional conditions of high microbial burden (Papua New Guinea, PNG).

Results:  The frequency of neonatal Treg, defined as CD4+ Foxp3+ CD127 CD25+/high was found to be higher in the cord blood of AUS compared to PNG newborns. However, cord Treg suppressive function in a small subset of children was qualitatively similar between PNG and AUS newborns in both a Treg depletion assay and a Treg supplementation assay.

Conclusions:  These findings do not support the hypothesis that living in a ‘western’ versus more traditional environment leads to poor induction or suppressive function of neonatal Treg. However, environmentally-induced immuno-regulation may potentially occur via alternative mechanisms in PNG newborns that should now be investigated further.

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