Immune system development in infants born to mothers with autoimmune disease, exposed in utero to immunosuppressive agents

Mario Motta, Laura Ciardelli, Massimo Marconi, Angela Tincani, Antonella Gasparoni, Andrea Lojacono, Gaetano Chirico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Exposure to immunosuppressant agents during gestation can affect the fetal immune system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immune function of infants whose mothers were administered immunosuppressants during pregnancy for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Circulating lymphocyte subsets and in vitro immunoglobulin production were assessed at birth, and months 1, 6, and 12 of life in 19 infants exposed in utero to glucocorticoid alone or in combination with azathioprine, cyclosporine A, or hydroxychloroquine. The results were compared with those obtained in 15 age-matched infants from mothers with autoimmune diseases not exposed to immunosuppressants. No differences in terms of absolute lymphocyte count, percentage of B and T lymphocytes, and immunoglobulin production were observed. No immune system dysfunction was found in the two studied groups, suggesting a lack of interference between the immunosuppressive treatment and the immune systems of the offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-447
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Immune system
  • Immunosuppressive agents
  • Infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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