Lymphocyte Subpopulations in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Infant, Newborn, Diseases
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
A key role for inflammation in the etiology of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) has been proposed. In the present study we have evaluated lymphocyte subpopulations in 39 premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) who did or did not develop BPD. The absolute number of lymphocytes was lower among infants with RDS who developed BPD compared with those who did not over the first two weeks of life ( p < 0.020) as were percentage and absolute number of CD4(+) T cells. By contrast, the proportions of CD3(+)CD8(+) lymphocyte cells were not statistically different between non-BPD and BPD infants. B cell percentage was significantly decreased in BPD infants only on day 7. NK "bright" cells (CD56(+)) were highly enriched in all RDS groups. Interestingly, the percentage of CD4(+) T cells expressing CD62L was selectively reduced in BPD infants. As a whole these data suggest that reduction of CD4(+) T cells and especially those important in tissue migration and immune surveillance may be a factor in the pathogenesis of BPD.