Childhood Immune Maturation and Allergy Development: Regulation by Maternal Immunity and Microbial Exposure
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Special Issue: Marcus Wallenberg International Symposium in Comparative Reproductive Immunology, “Immunology at the fetal maternal interface: Basic science and clinical applications”, July 7–8th, 2011, Linköping University, Sweden
Volume 66, Issue Supplement s1, pages 75–80, July 2011
How to Cite
Jenmalm, M. C. (2011), Childhood Immune Maturation and Allergy Development: Regulation by Maternal Immunity and Microbial Exposure. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 66: 75–80. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2011.01036.x
- Issue published online: 4 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
- Submitted April 4, 2011; accepted May 10, 2011.
- fetal programming;
- immune regulation;
- microbial exposure
Citation Jenmalm MC. Childhood Immune Maturation and Allergy Development: Regulation by Maternal Immunity and Microbial Exposure. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 66 (Suppl. 1): 75–80
Problem The increasing allergy prevalence in affluent countries may be caused by reduced microbial stimulation, resulting in an abnormal post-natal immune maturation. Most studies investigating the underlying mechanisms have focused on post-natal microbial exposure. Also, the maternal microbial environment during pregnancy may program the immune development of the child, however.
Method of study This review focuses on how maternal immunity and microbial exposures regulate childhood immune and allergy development.
Results Prenatal environmental exposures may alter gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms, aiming to induce physiological adaptations to the anticipated post-natal environment, but potentially also increasing disease susceptibility in the offspring. Although the importance of fetal programming mostly has been studied in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, this hypothesis is also very attractive in the context of environmentally influenced immune-mediated diseases.
Conclusion Efficacious preventive measures, required to combat the allergy epidemic, may be identified by determining how the immune interaction between mother and child is influenced by microbial factors.