• Antiphospholipid antibodies;
  • embryo;
  • growth retardation;
  • pregnancy loss;
  • SLE;
  • yolk sac

Matalon ST, Shoenfeld Y, Blank M, Yacobi S, Blumenfeld Z, Ornoy A. The effects of IgG purified from women with SLE and associated pregnancy loss on rat embryos in culture. AJRI 2002; 48:296–304 © Blackwell Munksgaard, 2002

PROBLEM: Recurrent fetal loss occurs in approximately 1% of women. Autoimmune causes have been suggested as a factor in some of these cases. High rates of intrauterine fetal growth retardation and increased incidence of prematurity is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS). Autoantibodies from sera of SLE/APS patients affect reproductive outcome in pregnant mice, as was studied in vivo, where injection of immunoglobulin (Ig)G purified from patients with APS to mice caused fetal resorptions and growth retardation.

METHODS: In order to investigate the direct effect of IgG purified from women with SLE or APS on the growth and viability of embryos, we cultured 11.5-day old-rat embryos in their yolk sacs in the presence of IgG purified from SLE and APS patients.

RESULTS: IgG purified from SLE and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) patients affected directly the embryo and yolk sac reducing their growth. The purified IgG positive for anti-cardiolipin/anti-DNA antibodies reduced yolk sac and embryonic growth more than sera negative for these antibodies.

CONCLUSION: Various antiphospholipid antibodies affect differently the growth and development of the embryo and the placenta.