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Am J Reprod Immunol. 1997 Jul;38(1):6-8.

Evidence that the expression of progesterone-induced blocking factor by maternal T-lymphocytes is positively correlated with conception.

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University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Camden, Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, USA.



To compare the expression by T-lymphocytes of an immunomodulatory protein known as progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF) in conception versus non-conception cycles even when there has been definite fertilization and embryo formation.


PIBF expression on T lymphocytes was measured using an immunohistochemical method with a PIBF-specific polyclonal antibody. These levels were determined in patients undergoing three types of therapy: non-in vitro fertilization (IVF), IVF-embryo transfer (ET), and frozen ET. Sera were drawn 12 days from ovulation in non-IVF cycles or 9 days after ET and were assayed for PIBF and beta human chorionic gondotropin. Comparison of the frequency of lymphocyte expression of PIBF in pregnant versus non-pregnant women were made.


PIBF was detected in 29.5% of non-pregnant women and 52.5% of pregnant women. There were no differences in PIBF levels by therapy used in non-pregnant cases or in the pregnant group.


These data are consistent with the hypothesis that maternal expression of PIBF in T-lymphocytes soon after trophoblast invasion may depend on successful implantation.

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