• Cytokines;
  • recurrent miscarriage;
  • Th1-type immune response

Problem:  How the maternal immune system adapts to tolerate the fetus is not fully understood, but a successful pregnancy is associated with the production of Th2-type cytokines and miscarriage is associated with the production of Th1-type cytokines.

Method of study:  Levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-12 and IL-18 were measured in serum from 205 pregnant women of whom 115 pregnant women had a history of recurrent miscarriage.

Results:  Compared with healthy pregnant women those who miscarried had increased serum levels of the Th1-associated cytokines IFN-γ, IL-12 and IL-18.

Conclusions:  Increased levels of IL-18 appeared to be critical in early pregnancy and were able to discriminate between pregnancies that continued and those that end in miscarriage.