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Influence of breastfeeding versus formula feeding on lymphocyte subsets in infants at risk of coeliac disease: the PROFICEL study.

AuthorsPozo Rubio, Tamara ; Capilla, Amalia ; Mujico, Jorge R. ; Palma, Giada de ; Marcos, Ascensión ; Sanz, Yolanda; Nova, Esther
KeywordsLymphocyte subsets
Celiac disease
HLA genotype
Issue DateMar-2013
CitationEuropean Journal of Nutrition 52 (2) :637-46 (2013)
AbstractPurpose: In addition to genetic risk, environmental factors might influence celiac disease (CD) development. We sought to assess the effect of the interaction between milk-feeding practices and the HLA-DQ genotype, on peripheral lymphocyte subsets and their activation markers in infants at familial risk for CD. Methods: 170 newborns were classified in 3 different genetic risk groups (high risk, HR; intermediate risk, IR; and low risk, LR) after DQB1 and DQA1 typing. Lymphocyte subsets were studied at the age of 4 months by flow cytometry analysis. Results: 79 infants were receiving exclusive breast-feeding (BF), and 91 partial breast-feeding or formula-feeding (FF). Regarding genetic risk, 40 infants were classified in HR group, 75 in IR group and 55 in LR group. Two-way ANOVA did not show significant interactions between the type of milkfeeding and genetic risk group on the lymphocyte subsets analysed. One-way ANOVA for milk-feeding practice alone showed that the percentage of CD4+CD25+ cells was significantly higher in BF group than in FF group (BF, 10.92±2.71; FF, 9.94±2.96; p=0.026), and absolute counts of CD4+CD38+ cells were significantly higher in FF group than in BF group (FF, 2881.23±973.48; BF, 2557.95±977.06; p=0.038). One-way ANOVA for genetic risk alone showed that absolute counts of NK cells were significantly higher in IR group than HR and LR groups (IR, 539.24±340.63; HR, 405.01±239.53; LR, 419.86±262.85; p=0.028). Conclusion: Lymphocyte subset profiles in the early stages of life could be modulated by milk-feeding practices and genetic risk separately. Breast-feeding might have a positive immunomodulatory effect on lymphocyte subsets in infants at risk for CD.
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