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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 11 (2002), Issue 6, Pages 363-365
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0962935021000051566

Pro-inflammatory cytokines in Turkish children with protein-energy malnutrition

1Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Yüzüncü Yil, Tip Fakültesi, Biyokimya Anabilim Dali, Maras Caddesi, Van 65300, Turkey
2Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Gaziantep, Gaziantep, Turkey
3Department of Pediatry, School of Medicine, University of Yüzüncü Yil, Tip Fakültesi, Biyokimya Anabilim Dali, Maras Caddesi, Van 65300, Turkey

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

Abstract

Background: Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) results from food insufficiency as well as from poor social and economic conditions. Development of PEM is due to insufficient nutrition. Children with PEM lose their resistance to infections because of a disordered immune system. It has been reported that the changes occurring in mediators referred to as cytokines in the immune system may be indicators of the disorders associated with PEM.

Aims: To determine the concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines in children with PEM, and to find out whether there was an association with the clinical presentation of PEM.

Methods: The levels of serum total protein, albumin, tumour necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6 were measured in 25 patients with PEM and in 18 healthy children as a control group. PEM was divided into two groups as kwashiorkor and marasmus. The kwashiorkor group consisted of 15 children and the marasmus group consisted of 10 children.

Results: Levels of serum total protein and albumin of the kwashiorkor group were significantly lower than both the marasmus group and controls (p<0.05). In view of tumour necrosis factor-α levels, there was no difference between groups (p>0.05). While levels of interleukin-6 in both the marasmus group and the kwashiorkor group were significantly higher compared with controls (p<0.05), there was no significant difference between the groups of marasmus and kwashiorkor (p>0.05).

Conclusions: It was observed that the inflammatory response had increased in children with malnutrition.