Expression of Intracellular Th1 and Th2 Cytokines in Women with Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion, Implantation Failures after IVF/ET or Normal Pregnancy
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2002
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 48, Issue 2, pages 77–86, August 2002
How to Cite
NG, S. C., GILMAN-SACHS, A., THAKER, P., BEAMAN, K. D. , BEER, A. E. and KWAK-KIM, J. (2002), Expression of Intracellular Th1 and Th2 Cytokines in Women with Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion, Implantation Failures after IVF/ET or Normal Pregnancy. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 48: 77–86. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0897.2002.01105.x
- Issue published online: 4 JUL 2002
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2002
- implantation failure;
- recurrent spontaneous abortion;
- T helper 1;
- T helper 2
PROBLEM: We aimed to investigate absolute counts of intracellular T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cytokine expressing T-cell subpopulations in women with three or more recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA), multiple implantation failures after in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF/ET) (three or more) or during normal pregnancy.
METHOD OF STUDY: Absolute cell counts and percentages of CD3+, CD3+/CD4+, and CD3+/CD8+ T-cell populations expressing intracellular cytokines [interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10] was studied by four-color flow cytometry in 15 RSA and 13 implantation failure patients. Eighteen fertile non-pregnant and 47 normal pregnant women were also compared with regard to intracellular cytokine expression.
RESULTS: Interleukin-10 producing CD3+/CD8+ T-cell counts were significantly lower in women with RSA (P < 0.05) and implantation failures (P < 0.05), and TNF-α producing CD3+/CD4+ T-cell counts were higher in women with RSA (P < 0.05) and implantation failures (P < 0.005) than those of non-pregnant fertile controls. During normal pregnancies, first trimester IL-4 expressing CD3+, CD3+/CD4+ T-cell counts (P < 0.05) and IFN-γ expressing CD3+ T-cell counts (P < 0.05) were significantly higher than those of third trimester (P < 0.05). First trimester TNF-α expressing CD3+/CD8+ T-cell counts were significantly higher than those of second and third trimester women (P < 0.05). However, there are no differences in cytokine expression between non-pregnant and first trimester pregnant women.
CONCLUSION: Absolute counts of IFN-γ, IL-4, and TNF-α expressing T cells decrease with the progress of gestation (third trimester) during normal pregnancies. In women with implantation failures, absolute cell counts of TNF-α expressing CD3+/4+ cells reflects the presence of dominant Th1 immune response. A significantly increased Th1 cytokine expression may be the underlying immune etiology for reproductive failures.