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J Reprod Immunol. 2008 Jul;78(2):172-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Correlations of selected vaginal cytokine levels with pregnancy-related traits in women with bacterial vaginosis and mycoplasmas.

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Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


The aim of this study was to examine correlations between vaginal inflammatory cytokines (IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-8) and pregnancy-related traits (gestational age, birth-weight, BMI, weight gain during pregnancy and vaginal pH). Differences in correlation coefficients were examined among bacterial vaginosis (BV) status and the presence or absence of mycoplasmas. A total of 105 women between the 22nd and 34th week of pregnancy were enrolled in this study. There was a strong negative correlation between IL-1alpha and weight gain during pregnancy (r=-0.877, p<0.001) and a strong positive correlation between IL-6 and BMI (r=0.670, p=0.024) in women with normal vaginal flora and mycoplasmas. These correlations were not present in women who had normal flora and no mycoplasmas. In women with BV and no mycoplasmas, there were significant correlations of gestational age with IL-6 (r=0.727, p=0.027) and IL-8 (r=0.689, p=0.040); however, these correlations were not significant in women with mycoplasmas. Our findings support the conclusion that correlations between inflammatory cytokines and pregnancy-related traits are dependent on context, suggesting that expression is labile. In particular, BMI and gestational age correlation differs depending on BV status and the presence or absence of BV-related mycoplasmas such as Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum.

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