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Maternal Serum Levels of Pro- Inflammatory Cytokines in Missed and Threatened Abortion


Address proofs review to Dr Roberto Paradisi, Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology,S. Orsola Hospital, University Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, Massarenti 13, I-40138 Bologna, Italy.


Problem: A study of association between pro-inflammatory cytokines, and missed and threatened abortions with good outcome has been performed.

Method of study: The presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines, namely interleukin (IL)-8 and IL-12 and the soluble interleukin-2 receptor (SIL-2R) was investigated in maternal serum of 12 patients with threatened abortion twice (at admission and discharge), 14 patients with missed abortion, 14 women with healthy first-trimester pregnancy, and 14 normal non-pregnant women, using specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Results: SIL-2R and, in particular, IL-12 was detected with significantly higher levels in missed abortion group compared with all other groups. IL-8 was detected with no significant difference among all the groups studied.

Conclusions: In spite of caution due to the small sizes of the subject samples, these results support a role of the immune system in the first trimester pregnancy and hypothesize that missed abortion may be associated with an enhanced Th1 reactivity, whereas threatened abortion with good outcome resembles the normal pregnancy with a non-enhanced Th1 reactivity.