Spontaneous abortion is the most common complication of pregnancy, but the etiology of a significant proportion of abortions is still unknown. We have examined the production of Th1- and Th2-type cytokines by women with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) since it appears that successful murine pregnancy occurs in a Th2-dominant situation and that Th1-type immunity is associated with pregnancy failure. We have compared maternal reactivity toward placental antigens in women with a history of successful pregnancy with that in women with a history of RSA. This was done by coculturing maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with autologous placental cells and also by stimulating maternal PBMC with antigens from a choriocarcinoma cell line of trophoblastic origin. We detected significantly greater levels of the Th2 cytokines IL-6 and IL-10 in normal pregnancy compared to unexplained RSA and significantly higher levels of the Th1 cytokine IFN-γ in RSA compared to normal pregnancy. These results suggest that women with normal pregnancy have a higher Th2 bias, while women with a history of RSA evince a bias toward Th1-type reactivity.
Cellular Immunology – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 1999
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