Human mid-gestation amniotic fluid contains interleukin-16 bioactivity

Thornton, Catherine A., Holloway, Judith A., Shute, Janis K., Holloway, John W., Diaper, Norma D. and Warner, John O. (2009) Human mid-gestation amniotic fluid contains interleukin-16 bioactivity Immunology, 126, (4), pp. 543-551. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.02903.x). (PMID:19278422).


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CD4-positive cells are detectable in the human fetal gastrointestinal tract from 11 weeks of gestation. Interleukin-16 (IL-16) is a chemoattractant for CD4(+) cells and, via fetal swallowing of amniotic fluid, could mediate the influx of CD4(+) cells into the fetal gut. We have shown that IL-16 was detectable in human amniotic fluid at 16-18 weeks of gestation (mid-pregnancy) but was not detectable at term (late pregnancy; > 37 weeks of gestation). Similarly, mid-pregnancy, but not late pregnancy, amniotic fluid contained chemotactic activity for CD4(+) T cells, this activity was reduced by 58% in the presence of a neutralizing anti-IL-16 antibody. The levels of IL-16 in fetal plasma at 16-24 weeks of gestation were very high, and decreased significantly by 25-36 weeks but at > 37 weeks remained significantly higher than adult levels. IL-16 transcripts were detectable in whole tissue extracts of fetal gut, skin and placenta but not in amniocytes, and IL-16 immunoreactivity was detectable in cells within the lamina propria of the fetal gut and within the skin, where it was associated with the basement membrane. Neither IL-16 levels nor chemotactic activity for CD4(+) T cells in mid-pregnancy amniotic fluid was related to atopic outcomes at 1 year of age. IL-16 might have an important role in the early development of the human immune system and/or in regulating fetal and maternal immunological responsiveness during pregnancy.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.02903.x
ISSNs: 0019-2805 (print)
Keywords: amniotic fluid, atopy, chemotaxis, interleukin-16, pregnancy
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
ePrint ID: 72879
Date :
Date Event
April 2009Published
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:54
Further Information:Google Scholar

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