The proportion of Tregs was evaluated. To elucidate possible differences in functional properties of Tregs, MFI of FoxP3 and intracellular regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta were tested. Differences in Treg proportions and their functional properties were found between the groups. Using our gating strategy (Fig. 1) and antibodies against CD4, CD25, CD127 and FoxP3, we did not find significant differences in the proportion of Tregs in the cord blood of children of healthy and allergic mothers, although the trend towards an increased number of Tregs in the CD4+ lymphocyte population from the allergic group was obvious (P = 0·07) (Fig. 2a). A significantly
increased proportion of Tregs in cord blood of children of allergic mothers was observed when PD0332991 nmr Tregs were considered only as CD4+CD25+ cells Mitomycin C in vivo (P = 0·0117) (Fig. 2b). Different gating strategies together with using different Treg markers may account for variation among the results of different research groups. Transcription factor FoxP3 is considered to be a master marker for identifying Tregs (as CD25 can be expressed on other activated CD4+ T lymphocytes and CD127 is present on various cell types). The values of MFI of
FoxP3 in cord blood of children of allergic mothers followed an opposite trend to the proportion of Tregs. A significantly higher MFI of FoxP3 (P = 0·0159) in cord blood Tregs of children of healthy mothers was detected in comparison to children Teicoplanin of allergic mothers (Fig. 3). To evaluate the possible differences in functional characteristics of Tregs, the presence of regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta was estimated by intracellular staining. A significantly
higher number of IL-10+ Tregs in cord blood of children of healthy mothers was detected in comparison to children of allergic mothers (P = 0·0012) (Fig. 4). Similarly, a significantly higher proportion of TGF-beta+ Tregs in cord blood of children of healthy mothers is documented in Fig. 5 (P = 0·0174). The importance of Tregs in immune regulations consists mainly in their role in induction of peripheral tolerance against autoantigens and harmless food and environmental antigens . An insufficiency of Tregs can result in autoimmunity and allergy development [26–29]. We followed the status of newborn Tregs as a possible prognostic marker for future allergy manifestation. It is possible to assume that changes of immune regulation in allergy-prone infants can be evident prior to development of the clinical signs of allergy. We found differences in immune characteristics of Tregs in the cord blood of children of allergic mothers in comparison to children of healthy mothers. Tregs were assessed on the basis of their cell surface markers (CD4, CD25high and CD127low), typical transcription factor FoxP3 and intracellular regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta.