Nadaf, M. I. V.
Zago, C. A.
Total Authors: 5
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology;
Web of Science Citations:
Treg cells are crucial to prevent immune dysregulation, but little is known about the frequency of these cells in neonates, particularly in very/moderate and late preterm newborns studied as separate groups. The CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(lo)FOXP3(+) Treg population was phenotypically characterized to assess maturation markers and gut-homing integrins by flow cytometry in the cord blood of healthy preterm newborns born at 30-33(6/7) gestation weeks (Group 1), at 34-36(6/7) gestation weeks (Group 2) and term newborns born at 37-41 gestation weeks (Group 3), compared to healthy adults. An inverse correlation of the Treg percentage and gestational age was found, with significantly higher frequencies in Group 1 compared to Groups 2 and 3 and in Group 2 compared to Group 3, and significantly higher Treg frequencies and numbers in the neonates compared to the adults. All of the newborns exhibited increased Treg frequencies with a naive phenotype compared to adults. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 CTLA-4 expression in the naive Treg was decreased in both preterm groups compared with those from term newborns and adults, and in the memory Treg from Group 1 compared with the other groups. The frequencies of Treg expressing alpha 4 beta 7 and alpha 4 beta 1 integrins were higher in both preterm groups, but significantly different only in Group 1, when compared with those from the term newborns and the adults. In conclusion, although a high frequency of Treg is present in newborns, an immature phenotype with a higher expression of CD45RA and alpha 4 beta 7/alpha 4 beta 1 and a lower expression of CTLA-4 is found, particularly in the very preterm group. (AU)