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Hum Reprod. 2000 Mar;15(3):713-8.

Cytokine production by maternal lymphocytes during normal human pregnancy and in unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923 and Maternity Hospital, Kuwait.


It has been proposed that successful pregnancy is a T helper 2-type phenomenon, and that T helper (Th)1-type reactivity is deleterious to pregnancy. The objective of this study was to compare the concentrations of Th1 and Th2 cytokines produced by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from women undergoing unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) with those produced during normal pregnancy at a similar gestational stage. The control group consisted of 24 women with a history of successful pregnancies and the abortion group comprised of 23 women with a history of unexplained RSA. Blood from the control group was obtained at the end of the first trimester as gestational age controls for the abortion group from whom blood was collected at the time of abortion. Phytohaemagglutinin-stimulated peripheral blood cell culture supernatants were analysed for concentrations of cytokines. Significantly higher concentrations of Th2 cytokines were produced by the first trimester normal group than by the RSA group, while significantly higher concentrations of Th1 cytokines were produced by the abortion group as compared to first trimester normal pregnancy, indicating a distinct Th2-bias in normal pregnancy and a Th1-bias in unexplained RSA.

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