, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 227-232
Date: 09 Nov 2010

The modulatory effect of lipids and glucose on the neonatal immune response induced by Staphylococcus epidermidis

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Parenteral nutrition is an important risk factor for late onset sepsis in neonates. This may be caused by the long-term need of central venous access but also through a potentially modulating effect of lipids and glucose on the immune function.


It was the aim of this study to characterize the effect of lipids and glucose on the neonatal immune response in an in vitro Staphylococcus epidermidis sepsis model using whole cord blood of healthy term infants and preterm infants.


At the single cell level, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α expression of CD14+ cells was significantly increased upon addition of 1% lipids, while the addition of clinically meaningful lipid concentrations had no remarkable effect. When glucose was added to whole cord blood cultures, a dose-dependent effect was demonstrated for IL-8 expression but not for other cytokines.


These in vitro data suggest that the pro-inflammatory cytokine response to S. epidermidis may be modulated by lipids and glucose. Further studies are needed to investigate whether these findings are applicable to clinical settings and to evaluate the role of cytokine monitoring in infants receiving long-term parenteral nutrition.