Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Placental function and foetal sensitisation in relation to in utero exposure to environmental chemicals

The aims of WP2 were to investigate the relationship between placental contamination and immune parameters in placental tissue, cord blood and peripheral blood samples collected from areas across Europe on the background of incidence rate of atopy in early childhood. These results will provide insights into the linkage between placental immunological function, environmental pollution and allergy development in children.

The following parameters were studied: low level total IgE levels in cord blood serum; Th1/Th2 cytokine response of mononuclear cells (MNC) from maternal peripheral blood and cord blood to food and inhalant allergens; Th1 and Th2 cytokine balance of cultured placental trophoblast cells; oxidative enzyme status of the placenta and erythrocyte lysate from cord and maternal peripheral blood.

Low level cord blood IgE positivity was significantly higher in Romanian cord blood samples compared to Slovak and Belgium samples. Cytokine production by MNC was assessed in the Slovak and Belgian samples. MNC number and viability of the Romanian samples was too low to perform analyses. The frequency of samples below the limit of detection was greater in the Slovak group.

The complete panel of cord blood cytokines and peripheral blood cytokines was statistically significant lower in Slovak samples compared to the Belgian blood samples. Both observations are presumably a result of the requirements for samples treatment and storage prior to cytokine analyses. Preliminary analysis of the Th CK production showed no significant correlation between TH CK outcomes and measured xenobiotic levels in maternal blood, placenta, or breast milk samples from specimens from Belgian mothers.

Concentrations of the selected Th1 and Th2 cytokines (IL-4. IL-5, IL-10, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma) were measured in the placental trophoblast supernates from Romanian and Slovak mothers. Higher levels of IL-4, IL-5 and IFN-gamma were found in the samples from Romania compared to Slovak samples (p<0.01). Concentrations of IL-10 and TNF-alpha were higher in Slovak samples (p<0.001).
Statistical significant differences between the localities were seen for the different oxidative enzymes.

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

University of Bristol
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust Biophysics Research Unit, Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre, Horfield Road
BS2 8ED Bristol
United Kingdom
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