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Long-term sex-differential effects of neonatal Vitamin A supplementation on in vitro cytokine responses


Jensen, KJ and Sondergaard, MJ and Andersen, A and Martins, C and Erikstrup, C and Aaby, P and Flanagan, KL and Benn, CS, Long-term sex-differential effects of neonatal Vitamin A supplementation on in vitro cytokine responses, The British journal of nutrition, 118, (11) pp. 942-948. ISSN 0007-1145 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0007114517002938


High-dose vitamin A supplementation (VAS) may affect mortality to infectious diseases in a sex-differential manner. Here, we analysed the long-term immunological effects of neonatal vitamin A supplementation (NVAS) in 247 children, who had been randomly allocated to 50 000 or 25 000 IU vitamin A (15mg and 7·5mg retinol equivalents, respectively) or placebo at birth. At 4-6 months of age, we assessed bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) scarification, and we analysed in vitro responses of TNF-α, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13 and IFN-γ in whole blood stimulations to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), purified protein derivative (PPD), tetanus toxoid and lipopolysaccharide. There were no differences between the two doses of NVAS, and thus they were analysed combined as NVAS (any dose) v. placebo. All analyses were performed unstratified and by sex. NVAS increased the chance of having a scar after BCG vaccination in females (NVAS v. placebo: 96 v. 71 %, proportion ratio: 1·24; 95 % CI 1·09, 1·42), but not in males (P for interaction=0·012). NVAS was associated with significant sex-differential effects on the pro- to anti-inflammatory cytokine ratios (TNF-α:IL-10) to PPD, tetanus toxoid and medium alone, which were increased in females but decreased in males. In addition, IL-17 responses tended to be increased in NVAS v. placebo recipients in males but not in females, significantly so for the PHA stimulation. The study corroborates sex-differential effects of VAS on the immune system, emphasising the importance of analysing VAS effects by sex.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vitamin A supplementation, infants, cytokines, heterologous immunity, sex differences
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Immunology
Research Field:Cellular immunology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Flanagan, KL (Dr Katie Flanagan)
ID Code:126063
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2018-05-22
Last Modified:2018-07-25
Downloads:50 View Download Statistics

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