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Nutrients 2013, 5(2), 579-593; doi:10.3390/nu5020579

Effect of Malnutrition on the Expression of Cytokines Involved in Th1 Cell Differentiation

Department of Health Sciences, Autonomus Metropolitan University-Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, CP 09340, México D.F., Mexico
Postgraduate Study Section, High School of Medicine, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Plan de San Luis y Díaz Mirón s/n, CP 11340, México D.F., Mexico
Department of Health Care, Autonomus Metropolitan University-Xochimilco, Calz. del Hueso 1100, CP 04960, México D.F., Mexico
Pediatric Hospital-Iztapalapa, Servicios de Salud Gobierno del Distrito Federal, Calzada Ermita Iztapalapa 780, CP 09070, México D.F., Mexico
General Hospital of Mexico, Servicio de Pediatría, Urgencias y Terapia Intensiva, Secretaría de Salud, Dr. Balmis 148, CP 06726, México D.F., Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2012 / Revised: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 5 February 2013 / Published: 19 February 2013
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Malnutrition is a common cause of secondary immune deficiency and has been linked to an increased susceptibility to infection in humans. Malnutrition specifically affects T-cell-mediated immune responses. The aim of this study was to assess in lymphocytes from malnourished children the expression levels of IL-12, IL-18 and IL-21, molecules that induce the differentiation of T cells related to the immunological cellular response (Th1 response) and the production of cytokines related to the immunological cellular response (Th1 cytokines). We found that the expression levels of IL-12, IL-18 and IL-21 were significantly diminished in malnourished children compared to well-nourished children and were coincident with lower plasmatic levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ (Th1 cytokines). In this study, we show for the first time that the gene expression and intracellular production of cytokines responsible for Th1 cell differentiation (IL-12, IL-18 and IL-21) are diminished in malnourished children. As expected, this finding was related to lower plasmatic levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ. The decreased expression of Th1 cytokines observed in this study may contribute to the deterioration of the immunological Type 1 (cellular) response. We hypothesize that the decreased production of IL-12, IL-18 and IL-21 in malnourished children contributes to their inability to eradicate infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: malnutrition; Type 1 immunological response; cytokines malnutrition; Type 1 immunological response; cytokines

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

González-Torres, C.; González-Martínez, H.; Miliar, A.; Nájera, O.; Graniel, J.; Firo, V.; Alvarez, C.; Bonilla, E.; Rodríguez, L. Effect of Malnutrition on the Expression of Cytokines Involved in Th1 Cell Differentiation. Nutrients 2013, 5, 579-593.

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