Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4 ) exposure reduces the risk of cerebral palsy. As neonatal inflammatory cytokine levels strongly correlate with neurologic outcome, we hypothesize that MgSO4 decreases inflammatory cytokine production.
MgSO(4) exposure before preterm birth is neuroprotective, reducing the risk of cerebral palsy and major motor dysfunction. Neonatal inflammatory cytokine levels correlate with neurologic outcome, leading us to assess the effect of MgSO(4) on cytokine production in humans. We found reduced maternal TNF-? and IL-6 production following in vivo MgSO(4) treatment. Short-term exposure to a clinically effective MgSO(4) concentration in vitro substantially reduced the frequency of neonatal monocytes producing TNF-? and IL-6 under constitutive and TLR-stimulated conditions, decreasing cytokine gene and protein expression, without influencing cell viability or phagocytic function. In summary, MgSO(4) reduced cytokine production in intrapartum women, term and preterm neonates, demonstrating effectiveness in those at risk for inflammation-associated adverse perinatal outcomes. By probing the mechanism of decreased cytokine production, we found that the immunomodulatory effect was mediated by magnesium and not the sulfate moiety, and it was reversible. Cellular magnesium content increased rapidly upon MgSO(4) exposure, and reduced cytokine production occurred following stimulation with different TLR ligands as well as when magnesium was added after TLR stimulation, strongly suggesting that magnesium acts intracellularly. Magnesium increased basal I?B? levels, and upon TLR stimulation was associated with reduced NF-?B activation and nuclear localization. These findings establish a new paradigm for innate immunoregulation, whereby magnesium plays a critical regulatory role in NF-?B activation, cytokine production, and disease pathogenesis.
Interactions between natural killer (NK) and dendritic cells (DCs) are integral to immune response development, potentially leading to bidirectional NK/DC activation. We demonstrate that autologous NK/DC interactions induce CD4 expression on NK cells, influencing degranulation. Cell contact is required, with high NK:DC ratios and mature DCs most effectively inducing CD4 expression. CD4(+) NK cells, in turn, mediate DC maturation via contact-dependent and independent pathways, more effectively maturing DCs than CD4(-) NK cells. Bidirectional NK/DC interactions also impact HIV infection, as NK-matured DCs effectively deliver infectious HIV to T cells, via trans-infection. DC-induced CD4 expression also renders NK cells susceptible to HIV infection. Focusing on NK/DC interactions, DCs can transfer infectious virus and enhance HIV infection of CD4(+) NK cells, strongly suggesting that these interactions influence HIV pathogenesis. Findings provide new insight regarding NK/DC interactions, defining a mechanism by which cellular interactions in the absence of pathogens promote DC-mediated amplification of HIV infection.
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