IgM-antibodies against phosphorylcholine in mothers and normal or low birth weight term newborn infants

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Objective: To determine levels of athero-protective IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine in mothers and term-born normal or low birth weight infants. Copyright: Approach: Twenty three mother-infant pairs were studied, of whom 16 infants were within the normal weight range for gestational age (NGA; 3652[504] g) and 7 were small for gestational age (SGA; birth weight: 2715[255] g), the latter <2SD below the Swedish reference data mean for normal fetal growth. All infants were born at term (mean±SD 40.5±1.1 weeks). Serum was available from 6 mothers with SGA and 14 with NGA infants. Participating mothers were aged 34.063.9 years (no difference between groups). Fourteen neonates were boys and seven were girls. Levels of anti-PC IgM were determined by ELISA. Results: Neonatal IgM anti-PC levels were low (undetectable in 8 infants out of which 3 were SGA) with a median of 76[range 0-2.51] U/ml. Maternal IgM anti-PC levels were significantly higher (median 7198[range: 25.32-656.0]) U/ml) and the proportion of mothers in highest quartile (>75th percentile) was larger in mothers of NGA-infants (43%) vs. those of SGA-infants (0%, p = 0.032). Conclusions: IgM anti-PC levels are low at birth, which suggests that these antibodies do not play a ''housekeeping'' role in immune function during fetal life/development, but arise predominately on exposure to external antigens after birth. Furthermore, low maternal IgM anti-PC levels may play a role in placental insufficiency, contributing to poor fetal growth and a small-for-date baby. This preliminary observation may have implications for the future risk of atherosclerosis/cardiovascular disease development in pregnant women and their offspring.




Frostegard, A. G., Sjöberg, B. G., Frostegard, J., & Norman, M. (2014). IgM-antibodies against phosphorylcholine in mothers and normal or low birth weight term newborn infants. PLoS ONE, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106584

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