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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7045630, 11 pages
Review Article

Mannose-Binding Lectin: Biologic Characteristics and Role in the Susceptibility to Infections and Ischemia-Reperfusion Related Injury in Critically Ill Neonates

1Department of Medical and Surgical Neonatology, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital (IRCCS), Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 165 Rome, Italy
2Department of Laboratories, Laboratory of Rheumatology, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital (IRCCS), Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 165 Rome, Italy
3Department of Pediatrics, Anna Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Viale Gaetano Pieraccini 24, 50139 Florence, Italy
4Department of Laboratories, Laboratory of Chemical Chemistry, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital (IRCCS), Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 165 Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Cinzia Auriti

Received 6 August 2016; Revised 8 November 2016; Accepted 28 December 2016; Published 26 January 2017

Academic Editor: Fabiano Carvalho

Copyright © 2017 Cinzia Auriti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a member of the collectin family, belonging to the innate immunity system. Genetic, biologic, and clinical properties of MBL have been widely investigated throughout the last decades, although some interesting aspects of its potential clinical relevance are still poorly understood. Low circulating concentrations of MBL have been associated with increased risk of infection and poor neurologic outcome in neonates. On the other hand, an excessive and uncontrolled inflammatory response by the neonatal intestine after the exposure to luminal bacteria, leading to an increased production of MBL, may be involved in the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis. The purpose of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge about genetic and biologic characteristics of MBL and its role in the susceptibility to infections and to ischemia-reperfusion related tissue injuries to better explore its clinical relevance during the perinatal period and the possible future therapeutic applications.