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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.

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



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.


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.


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).


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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