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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2016 Dec;76(6):465-474. doi: 10.1111/aji.12595. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

Pregnancy alters the circulating B cell compartment in atopic asthmatic women, and transitional B cells are positively associated with the development of allergy manifestations in their progeny.

Author information

1
CEDOC, Chronic Diseases Research Center, Immunology, NOVA Medical School|FCM, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
2
Ginecologia e Obstetrícia, CUF Descobertas Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal.
3
Imunoalergologia, CUF Descobertas Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Maternal atopy is a risk factor for allergy. B cells are poorly studied in reproduction and atopy. We aimed to assess how pregnancy affects B cells in atopic women and whether B cells relate to allergic manifestations in offspring.

METHOD OF STUDY:

Women with and without atopic asthma, pregnant and non-pregnant were enrolled for the study, and circulating B cells were evaluated by flow cytometry, using CD19, CD27, CD38, IgD, and IgM.

RESULTS:

Compared to healthy non-pregnant, atopic asthmatic non-pregnant (ANP) women presented increased B cell counts, enlarged memory subsets, less transitional cells, and plasmablasts. Atopic asthmatic pregnant (AP) and healthy pregnant (HP) women showed similarities: reduced B cell counts and percentages, fewer memory cells, especially switched, and higher plasmablast percentages. Transitional B cell percentages were increased in AP women with allergic manifestations in their progeny.

CONCLUSION:

Atopic asthmatic non-pregnant women have a distinctive B cell compartment. B cells change in pregnancy, similarly in AP and HP women. The recognition that AP women with allergy in their progeny have a typical immune profile may help, in the future, the adoption of preventive measures to avoid the manifestation of allergic diseases in their newborns.

KEYWORDS:

B lymphocytes; atopy; flow cytometry; gestation; human; risk markers

PMID:
27778417
DOI:
10.1111/aji.12595
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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