Transient Deficiencies of T-Cell-Mediated Immunity in the Neonate
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In summary, neonates demonstrate striking deficiencies in cell-mediated immunity to a number of pathogens. A number of carefully orchestrated cellular and molecular events must occur before a strong cell-mediated immune response can be mounted, and newborns are transiently deficient at a number of points along the way. Neonatal antigen presenting function is less efficient than that of adults, and, in particular neonatal dendritic cells secrete less IL-12. Neonatal CD4 cells are prevented from differentiating into Th1 cells due to decreased levels of STAT4 and epigenetic regulation of the IFN-γ promoter. They also express less CD154. Consequently, the normal positive feedback loops for driving cell-mediated immunity, in which IFN-γ and CD154 from T cells induce dendritic cells to produce more IL-12, are interrupted. A better understanding of these mechanisms will be important in the care of newborns as well as in vaccine development.
KeywordsDendritic Cell Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Congenital Infection Myeloid Dendritic Cell Adult Peripheral Blood
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