, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 593-599
Date: 22 May 2008

Expression of Cytokine mRNA in Lymphocytes of Malnourished Children

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Protein–calorie malnutrition represents a significant worldwide health problem and is associated with an increased risk for infections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible changes in type 1/type 2 responses balance in malnourished children.


The data obtained in the present study showed that the expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-4, and IL-10 were more highly, in contrast IL-2, gamma interferon, and IL-6 genes were expressed less in all groups of malnourished children compared with the well-nourished infected children. It is important to indicate that the data collected in the present work agree with the results obtained by different authors, who showed differences in the production of cytokines in malnourished children.


In conclusion, the results suggest that alterations in the balance of type 1/type 2 immune responses exist in malnourished children, and this could be the reason that the immunological system of the malnourished children is incapable of eradicating infections.