The effect of iron deficiency anemia on the function of the immune system.
We aimed to study the effect of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) on immunity. In 32 children with IDA and 29 normal children, the percentage of T-lymphocyte subgroups, the level of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the phagocytic activity, the oxidative burst activity of neutrophils and monocytes and the levels of immunoglobulins were compared. There was no difference in the distribution of T-lymphocyte subgroups. The mean IL-6 levels was 5.6+/-3.9 pg/ml in children with IDA and 10.3+/-5.3 pg/ml in the control group (P<0.001). The percentage of neutrophils with oxidative burst activity when stimulated with pma was 53.4+/-32.7% in children with IDA and 81.7+/-14.3% in the control group (P=0.005). The percentage of monocytes with oxidative burst activity was 13.8+/-11.7% in children with IDA and 35+/-20.0% in the control group (P<0.001) when stimulated with pma. and 4.3+/-3.1 versus 9.7+/-6.0% (P=0.008) when stimulated with fMLP. The ratio of neutrophils with phagocytic activity was 58.6+/-23.3% in the anemic group; and 74.2+/-17.7% in the control group (P=0.057). The ratio of monocytes with phagocytic activity was 24.3+/-12.0% in the anemic group; and 42.9+/-13.4% in the control group (P=0.001). IgG4 level was 16.7+/-16.6 mg/dl in children with IDA and 51.8+/-40.7 mg/dl in healthy children (P<0.05). These results suggest that humoral, cell-mediated and nonspecific immunity and the activity of cytokines which have an important role in various steps of immunogenic mechanisms are influenced by iron deficiency anemia.
The effect of iron deficiency anemia on the function of the immune system. Hematol J. 2005 January