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Maternal country of birth and previous pregnancies are associated with breast milk characteristics
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
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2009 (English)In: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, ISSN 0905-6157, E-ISSN 1399-3038, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 19-29Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Populations in high infectious exposure countries are at low risk of some immune-mediated diseases such as Crohn's disease and allergy. This low risk is maintained upon immigration to an industrialized country, but the offspring of such immigrants have a higher immune-mediated disease risk than the indigenous population. We hypothesize that early life exposures in a developing country shape the maternal immune system, which could have implications for the offspring born in a developed country with a low infectious load. The aim of this study was to investigate if exposures in childhood (indicated by country of origin) and subsequent exposures influence immunologic characteristics relevant to stimulation of offspring. Breast milk components among 64 mothers resident in Sweden, 32 of whom immigrated from a developing country, were examined using the ELISA and Cytometric Bead Array methods. Immigrants from a developing country had statistically significantly higher levels of breast milk interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8 and transforming growth factor-beta1. A larger number of previous pregnancies were associated with down-regulation of several substances, statistically significant for soluble CD14 and IL-8. The results suggest that maternal country of birth may influence adult immune characteristics, potentially relevant to disease risk in offspring. Such a mechanism may explain the higher immune-mediated disease risk among children of migrants from a developing to developed country. Older siblings may influence disease risk through the action of previous pregnancies on maternal immune characteristics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 20, no 1, p. 19-29
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Microbiology in the medical area Immunology in the medical area
Research subject
Immunology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3764DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2008.00754.xPubMedID: 18484963OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3764DiVA, id: diva2:138062
Available from: 2009-01-05 Created: 2009-01-05 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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