Pregnancy is characterized by significant immunological changes and a cytokine profile, as well as vitamin deficiencies that can cause problems for the correct development of a fetus. Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides that are part of the innate immune system and are involved in several biological activities. Following that, this study aims to compare the levels of various cytokines and to investigate the role of defensins between pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 infection and pregnant women without any defined risk factor. TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2 and IL-10, β-defensins, have been evaluated by gene expression in our population. At the same time, by ELISA assay IL-6, IL-8, defensin alpha 1, defensin beta 1 and defensin beta 4 have been measured. The data obtained show that mothers affected by COVID-19 have an increase in pro-inflammatory factors (TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8) compared to controls; this increase could generate a sort of "protection of the fetus" from virus attacks. Contemporarily, we have an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and an increase in AMPs, which highlights how the mother's body is responding to the viral attack. These results allow us to hypothesize a mechanism of "trafficking" of antimicrobial peptides from the mother to the fetus that would help the fetus to protect itself from the infection in progress.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Potential for HNP-1, HBD-1 and HBD-4 in Pregnant Women with COVID-19

Mennitti, Cristina;Gaudiello, Giulia;Scamardella, Giulia;Terracciano, Daniela;Frisso, Giulia;Pero, Raffaela;Sarno, Laura
;
Guida, Maurizio
;
Scudiero, Olga
2022

Abstract

Pregnancy is characterized by significant immunological changes and a cytokine profile, as well as vitamin deficiencies that can cause problems for the correct development of a fetus. Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides that are part of the innate immune system and are involved in several biological activities. Following that, this study aims to compare the levels of various cytokines and to investigate the role of defensins between pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 infection and pregnant women without any defined risk factor. TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2 and IL-10, β-defensins, have been evaluated by gene expression in our population. At the same time, by ELISA assay IL-6, IL-8, defensin alpha 1, defensin beta 1 and defensin beta 4 have been measured. The data obtained show that mothers affected by COVID-19 have an increase in pro-inflammatory factors (TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8) compared to controls; this increase could generate a sort of "protection of the fetus" from virus attacks. Contemporarily, we have an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and an increase in AMPs, which highlights how the mother's body is responding to the viral attack. These results allow us to hypothesize a mechanism of "trafficking" of antimicrobial peptides from the mother to the fetus that would help the fetus to protect itself from the infection in progress.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/901922
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