• Animal model;
  • anti-laminin antibodies;
  • autoantibodies;
  • autoimmunity;
  • fetal loss;
  • laminin

PROBLEM: Laminins have important roles during placental and embryonic development. The aim of our study was to determine if active immunization of mice with laminin-1 could elicit an autoimmune response, and induce features of reproductive failure.

METHOD OF STUDY: BALB/c mice were immunized with mouse laminin-1. Autoantibodies to laminin-1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pregnant mice were killed on day 14 of pregnancy and examined for pregnancy outcome.

RESULTS: Mice immunized with laminin-1 developed elevated levels of anti-laminin-1 auto-antibodies contrary to the control group. A higher fetal resorption rate was found in the laminin-1 immunized group (23.8%) compared with that of the control group (12.2%), and was even higher in the subgroup of those animals with very high levels of anti-laminin-1 (P < 0.01). Laminin-1 immunized mice also had lower fetal and placental weights.

CONCLUSIONS: Active immunization with laminin-1 followed by elevated circulating anti-laminin-1 antibodies results in reproductive failure manifested by a higher fetal resorption rate.