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INTRODUCTION:  The purpose of the study was to determine the role of T cell apoptosis in ECM environment in pregnancy maintenance in women with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:  Thirty nonpreg- nant women with the history of RSA and 10 normal healthy women with the previous successful pregnancy outcome were studied. In addition, 15 pregnant women with the history of RSA were studied. We studied apoptosis of peripheral blood T cells after culture with mAb OKT-3 alone and with mAb OKT-3 and the following ECM: fibronectin and collagen IV. We used Cell Death Detection ELISA. In addition, apoptotic peripheral blood T cells were identified by annexin V-PE staining protocol using flow cytometry. CD29, CD95 T cells' surface receptors were studied.

RESULTS:  The highest values of enrichment factor: mU of the sample (dying/dead cells) per mU of the corresponding control (viable cells) were observed after peripheral T cells' culture with fibronectin or collagen IV in samples of women with the history of RSA. However, percentage of apoptotic T cells stained by annexin V was significantly lower in RSA women compared to control (P < 0.05). CD95 expression was significantly lower in RSA women compared to control (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:  Apoptosis of activated cytotoxic T cells might be an interesting possible explanation of successful pregnancy outcome in women with the history of RSA.