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Obese pregnancy is associated with significantly higher rates of infection, which can harm both mother and fetus. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of obesity on maternal blood immune function. This was a cross-sectional, case control study of 15 obese (Ob) and 15 lean (Lc) subjects. Immune cell subsets, intracellular and serum cytokine production, and lymphocyte proliferation were measured in maternal blood during the second trimester of pregnancy. Obese women had a significantly lower proportion of CD8+ and NKT cells and a higher proportion of B cells, impaired cytokine production when stimulated ex vivo, and impaired ability of lymphocytes to proliferate compared with their lean counterparts. Obese pregnancy is associated with impaired cell-mediated immunity. Because perinatal infections can have serious maternal and fetal consequences, it is imperative to better understand these mechanistic underpinnings to optimize prevention and devise targeted therapy. Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sarbattama Sen, Chitra Iyer, David Klebenov, Alexander Histed, Jessica A Aviles, Simin N Meydani. Obesity impairs cell-mediated immunity during the second trimester of pregnancy. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 2013 Feb;208(2):139.e1-8

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PMID: 23159744

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