Cord Blood Levels of EPA, a Marker of Fish Intake, Correlate with Infants' T- and B-Lymphocyte Phenotypes and Risk for Allergic Disease
Journal article, 2020

Maternal fish intake during pregnancy has been associated with reduced allergy development in the offspring and here, we hypothesized that components of fish stimulate fetal immune maturation. The aim of this study was to investigate how maternal fish intake during pregnancy and levels of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) in the infant's cord serum correlated with different subsets of B- and T-cells in cord blood and B-cell activating factor (BAFF) in cord plasma, and with doctor-diagnosed allergy at 3 and 8 years of age in the FARMFLORA birth-cohort consisting of 65 families. Principal component analysis showed that infant allergies at 3 or 8 years of age were negatively associated with the proportions of n-3 LCPUFAs (eicosapentaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid) in infant cord serum, which, in turn correlated positively with maternal fish intake during pregnancy. Both maternal fish intake and cord serum n-3 LCPUFAs correlated negatively to CD5(+) B cells and the FOXP3(+)CD25(high) of the CD4(+) T cell subsets in cord blood, but not to BAFF in cord plasma. Our observational study suggests that fish might contain components that promote maturation of the infant's immune system in a manner that protects against allergy development.




regulatory T cells

T cells

eicosapentaenoic acid

B cell


fatty acids


Malin Barman

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Hardis Rabe

University of Gothenburg

Bill Hesselmar

University of Gothenburg

Susanne Johansen

Skaraborg Hospital

Ann-Sofie Sandberg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Agnes E Wold

University of Gothenburg


2072-6643 (ISSN) 20726643 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 10 1-18 3000

The role of prenatal diet- and microbiome- derived metabolome in childhood allergy development. Metabolic fingerprinting for allergy prediction

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2019-01317), 2020-01-01 -- 2023-12-31.

Early life nutrition and immune development with focus on allergy prevention

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2013-3154), 2014-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories


Immunology in the medical area

Nutrition and Dietetics





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