GM-CSF and Pregnancy: Evidence of Significantly Reduced Blood Concentrations in Unexplained Recurrent Abortion Efficiently Reverted by Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment


Address reprint requests to Roberto Perricone, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata c/o S.Eugenio Hospital, P.le dell'Umanesimo 10, I-00144 Rome, Italy. E-mail:


Problem: Certain Th-2 cytokines and granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) are propitious for the success of pregnancy and recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is often characterized by a failure of Th-2 type responses. These considerations as well as the use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in RSA induced us to evaluate the levels of GM-CSF in normal pregnancies, in pregnant women affected with unexplained RSA and the effects of IVIg treatment.

Method of study: Peripheral blood free GM-CSF was measured by means of a sandwich enzyme immunoassay in 39 healthy women (13 non-pregnant, 26 pregnant) and in 53 RSA patients (11 non-pregnant, 42 pregnant). In 14 pregnant RSA patients GM-CSF was studied also after the very first IVIg infusion (0.5 g/kg body weight).

Results: In healthy women we found a significant increase of GM-CSF during pregnancy, in pregnant RSA patients such an increase was not detected. After IVIg, GM-CSF concentrations were almost doubled.

Conclusions: GM-CSF is found increased in normal pregnancy and is very low during pregnancy in RSA. IVIg infusions are capable of increasing GM-CSF in pregnant recurrent aborters.