Gestational zinc deficiency impairs humoral and cellular immune responses to hepatitis B vaccination in offspring mice

PloS One
Ning ZhaoZhiwei Li


Gestational zinc deficiency has been confirmed to impair the infant immune function. However, knowledge about effects of maternal mild zinc deficiency during pregnancy on hepatitis B vaccine responsiveness in offspring is limited. In this report, we aimed to examine how maternal zinc deficiency during pregnancy influences humoral and cellular immune responses to hepatitis B vaccination in offspring of BALB/c mice. From day 1 of pregnancy upon delivery, maternal mice were given a standard diet (30 mg/kg/day zinc), zinc deficient diet (8 mg/kg/day zinc), or combination of zinc deficient diet (8 mg/kg/day zinc in the first 2 weeks of gestation) and zinc supplement diet (150 mg/kg/day zinc for the last week of pregnancy), respectively. Newborn pups of these maternal mice were immunized with hepatitis B vaccine at postnatal weeks 0, 2 and 4. Then, splenocytes and blood samples from the offspring mice were harvested for detection of serum zinc concentrations, humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, expression of cytokines using ELISA, CCK-8 and flow cytometric analysis. Results from the present study demonstrated that gestational zinc deficiency inhibited antibody responses, and decreased the proliferative capacity of T cells in ...Continue Reading


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