Innate immunity in very preterm infants

Marchant and colleagues evaluated antimicrobial Toll-like receptor–induced cytokine responses in very preterm newborns over the first 28 days of age. These responses remain markedly attenuated during the neonatal period. The data support the hypothesis that reduced innate immunity might contribute to the increased risk of neonatal sepsis.

See Attenuated innate immune defenses in very premature neonates during the neonatal period

Mesenchymal stem cell treatment in mice

Donega et al. assessed whether intranasal mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment after hypoxia–ischemia (HI) at 9 days after birth induces neoplasia in the brain or periphery of mice. No neoplasia was observed at 14 months, and results show that MSC-induced improvement of sensorimotor and cognitive function is long-lasting.

See Assessment of long-term safety and efficacy of intranasal mesenchymal stem cell treatment for neonatal brain injury in the mouse

Mutations in the NFIX gene

Of the 15 point mutations in the NFIX gene reported so far, 9 cause the Marshall–Smith syndrome; the remainder lead to an overgrowth disorder with a Sotos-like phenotype. Martinez and coinvestigators present clinical findings in three patients with Marshall-Smith syndrome and two patients with a Sotos-like phenotype. The authors found that Marshall-Smith mutations are scattered through exons 6–10 of the NFIX gene, whereas most of the point mutations that cause an overgrowth syndrome are clustered in exon 2.

See Novel mutations of NFIX gene causing Marshall-Smith syndrome or Sotos-like syndrome: one gene, two phenotypes

K. kingae infection

Anderson de la Llana and coauthors investigated changes in oropharyngeal Kingella kingae carriage during the first four years of life, including seasonal variation and comparison of asymptomatic carriage with cases of invasive osteoarticular infections (OAIs). A total of 744 healthy children aged 7 to 48 months were screened for OAI, and epidemiological characteristics of every subject were recorded. The results showed no correlation between prevalence of K. kingae carriage and OAI incidence.

See Oropharyngeal K. kingae carriage in children: characteristics and correlation with osteoarticular infections

Obesity and a low–glycemic index diet

Visuthranukul and colleagues investigated the hypothesis that a low–glycemic index (GI) diet might be beneficial for weight management owing to its effect on insulin metabolism and satiety. Fifty-two obese children aged 9–16 years were randomly assigned either a low-GI diet or a low-fat diet for six months. The low-GI group exhibited a significant decline in fasting plasma insulin and insulin resistance; the control group did not. The results indicate that a low-GI diet may improve insulin sensitivity in obese children with high baseline insulin.

See Low-glycemic index diet may improve insulin sensitivity in obese children

APS presidential address

“How do we renovate our pediatric house?” President Donna Ferriero asks in the speech she delivered at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Pediatric Society. She discusses bias against women and minorities and draws attention to methods of promoting diversity in the pediatric workplace.

See American Pediatric Society 2015 Presidential Address: leaky pipes, glass ceilings, and changing landscapes–time to renovate the pediatric house