Background: The present study focused on the potential clinical significance of Th-17 cell related inflammatory cytokines in the occurrence and development of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS).
Methods: We included 82 NRDS children and 82 healthy controls. NRDS children were divided into the mild and severe group based on the disease severity. The serum samples of the NRDS and non-NRDS children were collected, and the expression levels of IL-17, IL-22, and IL-23 were determined by ELISA method. Moreover, correlation between the levels of the cytokines and the disease severity were analyzed, and receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the diagnostic value of the cytokines. Finally, correlation between the lung ultrasound score (LUS) of the NRDS patients and the levels of IL-17 and IL-23 were analyzed.
Results: IL-17 and IL-23 were dramatically increased in serum of the NRDS patients compared with the non-NRDS patients; moreover, IL-17 and IL-23 were significantly higher in the severe compared with the mild NRDS group, and the levels of both IL-17 and IL-23 were positively correlated with the disease severity. Furthermore, ROC analysis showed that both IL-17 and IL-23 can distinguish NRDS patient, especially the severe NRDS patients from the non-NRDS patients with high sensitivity and specificity; finally, the levels of IL-17 and IL-23 were positively correlated with the LUS in NRDS patients.
Conclusions: IL-17 and IL-23 were up-regulated in NRDS and may serve as sensitive biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.