Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Month of Birth Impacts Immune System Development

Hey guys, for my potluck on primate immunology I have an article of a study done in the UK that shows how a baby’s birth month can affect the development of its immune system.  The study provides a biological basis for why individuals born in May have a greater chance of developing multiple sclerosis than those born in November.  Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder where the immune system damages the central nervous system through ways such as autoreactive T-cells, cells that attack your own body’s cells.  MS is also associated with low levels of Vitamin D.  Samples of blood from the umbilical cord were extracted from 50 babies born in the month of November and 50 from the month of May, and levels of autoreactive T-cells and Vitamin D were measured.  They found that babies born in May had double the level of autoreactive T-cells and about 20% less Vitamin D than babies born in November.  More long-term studies need to be carried out to prove causation.

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