T-cell subpopulations αβ and γδ in cord blood of very preterm infants : The influence of intrauterine infection
Kornacka, Maria Katarzyna
Preterm infants are very susceptible to infections. Immune response mechanisms in this group of patients and factors that influence cord blood mononuclear cell populations remain poorly understood and are considered insufficient. However, competent immune functions of the cord blood mononuclear cells are also described. The aim of this work was to evaluate the T-cell population (CD3+) with its subpopulations bearing T-cell receptor (TCR) αβ or TCR γδ in the cord blood of preterm infants born before 32 weeks of gestation by mothers with or without an intrauterine infection. Being a pilot study, it also aimed at feasibility check and assessment of an expected effect size. The cord blood samples of 46 infants age were subjected to direct immunofluorescent staining with monoclonal antibodies and then analyzed by flow cytometry. The percentage of CD3+ cells in neonates born by mothers with diagnosis of intrauterine infection was significantly lower than in neonates born by mothers without infection (p = 0.005; Mann-Whitney U test). The number of cells did not differ between groups. Infection present in the mother did not have an influence on the TCR αβ or TCR γδ subpopulations. Our study contributes to a better understanding of preterm infants' immune mechanisms, and sets the stage for further investigations.