BACKGROUND: Antenatal factors including maternal diet may predispose to airway disease, possibly by impacting on fetal airway development.
OBJECTIVE: This cohort study tested the hypothesis that maternal vitamin D and E status in early pregnancy is associated with airway epithelial cell (AEC) responses in new born infants and examined constitutive and TNFα/IL-1β, house dust mite (HDM) extract or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated neonatal AEC responses in vitro.
METHODS: Maternal dietary vitamin D and E intakes, (plasma 25[OH]D3 or α-tocopherol) were characterised at 10-12 weeks gestation. Neonatal nasal AEC were collected soon after birth and cultured to tertiary passage. Constitutive and stimulated - TNFα/IL-1β, HDM extract or LPS - secretory responses (VEGF, RANTES, MCP-1, IL-17A, IFN-γ, GM-CSF, eotaxin, MIP1-α, MIP1-β, ICAM, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF) in 139 AEC cultures were quantified.
RESULTS: AEC mediator release was greater following TNF-α/IL-1β, HDM or LPS stimulation compared to constitutive release. Increased maternal dietary vitamin D was associated with significant increases in IL-10 release by AEC after stimulation with TNF-α/IL-1β (p=0.024) or HDM (p=0.049). Maternal plasma α-tocopherol at 10-12 weeks gestation was positively associated with MIP1α (Spearman's rho 0.242, p=0.009) and IL-3 (ρ 0.189, p=0.043) responses after TNF-α/IL-1β stimulation and negatively associated with TNF (ρ -0.404, p=0.011) and MIP1β (ρ -0.322, p=0.046) responses after LPS stimulation.
DISCUSSION: Neonatal AEC respond to pro-inflammatory and allergenic stimuli in vitro demonstrating their potential to function as components of the innate immune response. Our findings suggest that associations exist between maternal micronutrient intake during early pregnancy and aspects of stimulated neonatal airway epithelial cell secretory function that may in turn impact on the development of asthma and/or allergic rhinitis in later life. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.