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Clin Exp Immunol. 2012 Jan;167(1):84-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2011.04493.x.

Pregnancy-associated diseases are characterized by the composition of the systemic regulatory T cell (Treg) pool with distinct subsets of Tregs.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. andrea.steinborn@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

Dysregulations concerning the composition and function of regulatory T cells (T(regs)) are assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of complicated pregnancies. We used six-colour flow cytometric analysis to demonstrate that the total CD4(+) CD127(low+/-) CD25(+) forkhead box protein 3 (FoxP3)(+) T(reg) cell pool contains four distinct T(reg) subsets: DR(high+) CD45RA(-), DR(low+) CD45RA(-), DR(-) CD45RA(-) T(regs) and naive DR(-) CD45RA(+) T(regs). During the normal course of pregnancy, the most prominent changes in the composition of the total T(reg) cell pool were observed between the 10th and 20th weeks of gestation, with a clear decrease in the percentage of DR(high+) CD45RA(-) and DR(low+) CD45RA(-) T(regs) and a clear increase in the percentage of naive DR(-) CD45RA(+) T(regs). After that time, the composition of the total T(reg) cell pool did not change significantly. Its suppressive activity remained stable during normally progressing pregnancy, but decreased significantly at term. Compared to healthy pregnancies the composition of the total T(reg) cell pool changed in the way that its percentage of naive DR(-) CD45RA(+) T(regs) was reduced significantly in the presence of pre-eclampsia and in the presence of preterm labour necessitating preterm delivery (PL). Interestingly, its percentage of DR(high+) CD45RA(-) and DR(low+) CD45RA(-) T(regs) was increased significantly in pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia, while PL was accompanied by a significantly increased percentage of DR(-) CD45RA(-) and DR(low+) CD45RA(-) T(regs). The suppressive activity of the total T(reg) cell pool was diminished in both patient collectives. Hence, our findings propose that pre-eclampsia and PL are characterized by homeostatic changes in the composition of the total T(reg) pool with distinct T(reg) subsets that were accompanied by a significant decrease of its suppressive activity.

PMID:
22132888
PMCID:
PMC3248090
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2249.2011.04493.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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