Neonatal immunology: Responses to pathogenic microorganisms and epigenetics reveal an "immunodiverse" developmental state

Rebecca D Adkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neonatal animals have heightened susceptibility to infectious agents and are at increased risk for the development of allergic diseases, such as asthma. Experimental studies using animal models have been quite useful for beginning to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these sensitivities. In particular, results from murine neonatal models indicate that developmental regulation of multiple immune cell types contributes to the typically poor responses of neonates to pathogenic microorganisms. Surprisingly, however, animal studies have also revealed that responses at mucosal surfaces in early life may be protective against primary or secondary disease. Our understanding of the molecular events underlying these processes is less well developed. Emerging evidence indicates that the functional properties of neonatal immune cells and the subsequent maturation of the immune system in ontogeny may be regulated by epigenetic phenomena. Here, we review recent findings from our group and others describing cellular responses to infection and developmentally regulated epigenetic processes in the newborn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-257
Number of pages12
JournalImmunologic Research
Volume57
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

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Allergy and Immunology
Epigenomics
Genetic Epigenesis
Newborn Animals
Immune System
Asthma
Animal Models
Infection

Keywords

  • Epigenetics
  • Mucosal infection
  • Neonatal
  • T helper cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Neonatal immunology : Responses to pathogenic microorganisms and epigenetics reveal an "immunodiverse" developmental state. / Adkins, Rebecca D.

In: Immunologic Research, Vol. 57, No. 1-3, 01.12.2013, p. 246-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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