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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2003 Jan;49(1):21-9.

Effect of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment on the Th1/Th2 balance in women with recurrent spontaneous abortions.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Section of Cell Biology and Biophysics, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

The way by which intravenous immunoglobulin (IvIg) acts to prevent immunlogically mediated recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA) has not been clarified. In the present study, a possible effect of IvIg on the T helper cell (Th1/Th2) balance was investigated in abortions of either alloimmune or autoimmune abnormalities.

METHOD OF STUDY:

The study included 21 women treated with IvIg before conception because of a history of RSA characterized by alloimmune abnormalities (n = 15) or associated with anti-phospholipid antibodies (APA) (n = 6). Peripheral blood samples, collected before and 5 days after the first IvIg infusion, were stimulated, and Th1 and Th2 cells were detected by flow-cytometric analysis using a combination of monoclonal antibodies against T-cell surface markers and intracellular interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-4. The percentage of IFN-gamma-producing (Th1) and IL-4-producing (Th2) cells and the Th1/Th2 ratio were compared between pre- and post-infusion samples.

RESULTS:

A decrease of Th1 percentage in 66.6% of the cases and a concurrent Th2 percentage increase (47.61%) resulted in a decrease in the Th1/Th2 ratio in most of the cases (76.1%) (p < 0.01). Similar results were found in Group A (Th1/Th2 decreased in 60% of the cases, p < 0.05), while in Group B the effect of IvIg was not clear (Th1/Th2 increased in three and decreased in another three cases).

CONCLUSION:

Our finding suggests that IvIg administration in women with alloimmune RSA enhances Th2 polarization. This is not always the case with APA-associated abortions.

PMID:
12733591
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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