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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2005 Dec;54(6):384-9.

Pre-eclampsia is not associated with changes in the levels of regulatory T cells in peripheral blood.

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Institute of Medical Immunology, Charité, Medical University of Berlin, Germany.



The acceptance of the semi-allogeneic fetus within the maternal environment requires tolerance mechanisms not fully characterized yet. Normal pregnancy is known to be associated with a Th2 profile. Furthermore, regulatory T cells (Tregs) were proposed to regulate the Th2/Th1 balance at early stages of pregnancy. Treg may avoid the shift to a Th1 profile, thus preventing miscarriage. Accordingly, spontaneous abortion is characterized by a Th1 dominance and diminished levels of Treg. The major aim of the present work was to investigate if pre-eclampsia, a late immunological complication of pregnancy, is characterized by similar hallmarks.


We measured the surface antigens CD4, CD25, CD8 and CTLA4 in peripheral blood from patients suffering from pre-eclampsia (n = 8) and age-matched patients undergoing normal pregnancies (n = 9) by four-color flow cytometry.


We were not able to find any significant differences in the levels of CD4(+), CD25(+), CD8(+), CTLA4, CD4(+)/CD25(+), CD4(+)/CD25(bright), CD4(+)/CTLA4, CD25(+)/CTLA4, CD4(+)/CD25(+)/CTLA4, CD8(+)/CD25(+), CD8(+)/CTLA4 or CD8(+)/CD25(+)/CTLA4 cell subsets.


Our data confirm comparable number of Tregs during pre-eclampsia and normal pregnancy in peripheral blood. Other regulatory mechanisms might be involved during late pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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