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No Difference in Natural-killer-T cell population, but Th2/Tc2 Predominance in Peripheral Blood of Recurrent Aborters


Address reprint requests to Hideto Yamada, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Kita-ku N15 W7, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan. E-mail:


Problem: The aim of this study was to assess the natural-killer-T (NKT) cell population and cytokine expression in the peripheral blood of women with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA).

Method of study: The percentages of CD3+CD4CD8TCRVα24+Vβ11+-NKT cells and cells expressing intracellular interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α either with CD4+ or CD8+ cells were measured by flow cytometry at the midluteal phases in 15 RSA women and 15 fertile control women.

Results: No significant differences in the NKT cell percentages were found between RSA and control women. However, in RSA women, the CD4+IL-4+ cell and CD8+IL-4+ cell percentages were significantly higher, and the Th1/Th2 and Tc1/Tc2 cell ratios were significantly lower, than those in the control.

Conclusions: Th2/Tc2 dominance was found in the general circulation of RSA women; this finding provokes a new controversy on the Th1/Th2 balance concerning RSA etiology.