PROBLEM: To characterize in fertile women and women with recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA) the expression and functional status of T cells expressing the CD69 molecule.
METHOD OF STUDY: We analyzed by flow cytometry in peripheral blood and endometrium from fertile and RSA women, the surface and cytoplasmic expression of CD69 on gated T cells. In addition, we investigated by three-color flow cytometry the expression of cytokines, and subsets of memory T cells.
RESULTS: In T cells, CD69 was restricted to the intracellular compartment with a higher frequency in RSA than in fertile women (68.2 ± 12% versus 23.7 ± 22%, P < 0.001, and 20 ± 9.5% versus 2.1 ± 3.8%, P < 0.005, in endometrium and peripheral blood, respectively). In contrast, the number of interferon-γ+ (IFN-γ+) secreting cells was higher (16 ± 5% versus 6 ± 1%) in fertile women. All 11 RSA women alloimmunized with parental leukocytes reached values of CD3+ CD69+ cells similar to those observed in fertile women.
CONCLUSIONS: CD69 might represent a useful marker in the diagnosis and the follow up of RSA patients.