A proinflammatory CD4+ T cell phenotype in gestational diabetes mellitus

A proinflammatory CD4+ T cell phenotype in gestational diabetes mellitus.

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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-018-4615-1
Journal or Publication Title: Diabetologia
Volume: 61
Number: 7
Page Range: pp. 1633-1643
Date: 2018
Divisions: Human Viral and Cancer Immunology
Liver Immunology
Depositing User: General Admin
Identification Number: 10.1007/s00125-018-4615-1
ISSN: 0012-186X
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2021 23:24

Aims/hypothesis: Numerous adaptations of the maternal immune system are necessary during pregnancy to maintain immunological tolerance to the semi-allogeneic fetus. Several complications of pregnancy have been associated with dysregulation of these adaptive mechanisms. While gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been associated with upregulation of circulating inflammatory factors linked to innate immunity, polarisation of the adaptive immune system has not been extensively characterised in this condition. We aimed to characterise pro- and anti-inflammatory CD4+ (T helper [Th]) T cell subsets in women with GDM vs women without GDM (of similar BMI), during and after pregnancy, and examine the relationship between CD4+ subsets and severity of GDM.

Methods: This is a prospective longitudinal case-control study of 55 women with GDM (cases) and 65 women without GDM (controls) at a tertiary maternity hospital. Quantification of proinflammatory (Th17, Th17.1, Th1) and anti-inflammatory (regulatory T cell [Treg]) CD4+ T cell subsets was performed on peripheral blood at 37 weeks gestation and 7 weeks postpartum, and correlated with clinical characteristics and measures of blood glucose.

Results: Women with GDM had a significantly greater percentage of Th17 (median 2.49% [interquartile range 1.62-4.60] vs 1.85% [1.13-2.98], p = 0.012) and Th17.1 (3.06% [1.30-4.33] vs 1.55% [0.65-3.13], p = 0.006) cells compared with the control group of women without GDM. Women with GDM also had higher proinflammatory cell ratios (Th17:Treg, Th17.1:Treg and Th1:Treg) in pregnancy compared with the control group of women without GDM. In the control group, there was a statistically significant independent association between 1 h glucose levels in the GTT and Th17 cell percentages, and also between 2 h glucose levels and percentage of Th17 cells. The percentage of Th17 cells and the Th17:Treg ratio declined significantly after delivery in women with GDM, whereas this was not the case with the control group of women. Nevertheless, a milder inflammatory phenotype persisted after delivery (higher Th17:Treg ratio) in women with GDM vs women without.

Conclusions/interpretation: Dysregulation of adaptive immunity supports a novel paradigm of GDM that extends beyond hyperglycaemia and altered innate immunity.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; Diabetes; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Inflammation; Pregnancy; T cells; Th17.

Sheu, Angela
Chan, Yixian
Ferguson, Angela
Bakhtyari, Mohammad B.
Hawke, Wendy
White, Chris
Chan, Yuk Fun
Bertolino, Patrick J.
Woon, Heng G.
Palendira, Umaimainthan
Sierro, Frederic
Lau, Sue Mei
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2021 23:24
URI: https://eprints.centenary.org.au/id/eprint/476

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