The aspiration to understand the construction, the function as well as the development of the immune system is for a long time in the centre of the interest of many research projects, in particular to develop new attempts of treatment for immunological relevant clinical pictures on basis of the won knowledge.
Breast-feeding could be an important factor which plays an important role by the development and differentiation of T-cell subsets and cytokine profiles in infancy and childhood.
The objective of the doctorate work presented here was to examine the potential effect of the factor breast-feeding for the development, the distribution and the differentiation of cell populations as well as the expression of cytokines with healthy children.
This happened in particular in view of a possibly available Shift of the relative distribution of the TH1 and TH2 cytokines, because in retrospective cohort studies could be already demonstrated, that breastfed children show a lower susceptibility for serious bacterial infections (BACHRACH ET AL.,2003) as well as a decreased incidence of autoimmune illnesses (KOLETZKO ET AL.,1989; PISACANE ET AL.,1994).
The study cohort existed of 196 healthy children at the age between 26 days and 12 years and 352 days. This was divided into four age groups (<1, 1-<3, 3-<6 and 6-<13 years) and by means of a questionnaire in view of a possibly available Bias with regard to exogenous factors of influence like vaccinations, nicotine exposition (FELESZKO ET AL.,2006) and allergic illnesses in the family (HRDÝ ET AL.,2010) which are discussed in this connection, checks. Besides, no significant differences appeared between the groups.
All immunological parametres were determined in peripheral, heparinised blood. First a phenotype determination, on the basis of antibody-marked surface antigens of the T-, B- and NK-cell populations ("immune status"), was carried out by means of flow cytometry (FACS). Besides the mononuclear cells of the peripheral blood (PBMC) were stimulated by means of PMA and Ionomycin and the cytokine secretion was blocked by Brefeldin.
By FACS analysis the cytokin expression of IL2, IFN γ, TNF α, IL4, IL10, TGF β and IL17 in the T-cell subpopulations was determined. In the second step the quotient from IFN γ and IL4 was calculated to analyse the relation between TH1 and TH2.
The data material shows the development of the T-cell subsets with the age. Young children show one by regulatory T-cells (Treg) or TH0-cells prevailing TGF β and IL2 expression, while older children can produce the whole repertoire of TH1-(IFN γ, TNF α) and TH2-cytokines (IL4), in particular by memory T-cells. These results already confirmed before described – from the factor breast-feeding independent – changes of the cell populations and the cytokine production dependent on age. That's why could be gone out from a „normal distribution“ of the study cohort.
Between breastfed and non-breastfed infants has appeared that the size and the relation of the higher cell populations (T-helper cells, zytotoxic T-cells) as well as the maturation of the T- cells (naive T-cells, memory T-cells) did refer to the age make no distinction. Indeed, however, breastfeeding shows an influence on the TH1/TH2-balance.
Breastfed children show a stronger weighting in the direction of the TH2-Zytokine (lower IFN γ/IL4-Ratio), so that is to be assumed from the fact that breast-feeding induces a so-called TH2-Shift. These towards non-breastfed children "postponed" balance remains up to the age group of the 6-13 year-old steady. Besides, breastfed children have a higher ability, in comparison to Formula-fed children, to produce TH1-Zytokine like TNF α and IFN γ between the third and sixth year of life.
These data do not correspond to a prevailing TH2 pattern and an allergy arrangement, but they can explain the lower incidence of bacterial infections in the pre-school age (TH1-answers needed) and from TH1-provided auto immune illnesses with breastfed children.
On account of the results becomes clear that breastmilk has an important influence on the immune system. In particular it could be shown that the influence of breastmilk stretches beyond the real period of the breast-feeding. Therefore, an imprinting of the immune system by breastmilk, during the early childhood, seems very likely.
These results should be verified of course by the handing on studies which enclose, perhaps, available other sturgeon dimensions like genetic prearrangements or also environmental toxins.
Besides, it would be of interest which ingredients of breastmilk to this TH2-Shift contribute or whether it concerns with the factors of influence rather materials not contained in the mother's milk which are included in Formula food, as for example cow's milk antigens.
Finally remains to stick that mother's milk brings proved positive advantages with itself, how lower infection rates (breath way infections, Otitis media) and a risk decrease for certain illnesses (diabetes mellitus Typ1, Morbus Crohn, multiple sclerosis) in the later life.
The results of this work can confirm that the breast-feeding with mother's milk really has an influence on the development of the individual immune system.
An important role can play this knowledge with the consultation of mothers, just in view of an endogenous informal risk raised if necessary for example auto immune illnesses. Subsequent works are surely desirable to understand the pathophysiological background of these observed data better.
|Advisor:||Schlegel , Paul-Gerhardt|
|School:||Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universitaet Wuerzburg (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||T-cell cytokine production|
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