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Should We Re-Examine the Status of Lymphocyte Alloimmunization Therapy for Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion?


Address reprint requests to Dr Gérard Chaouat, Equipe cytokines et relation materno Foetale, Maternité, Hôpital Antoine Béclère, 157 Avenue de la porte de trivaux, 92141 Clamart, France.


Problem:  In the human, lymphocyte alloimmunization immunotherapy (IT) has been proposed as a treatment for recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA). This treatment has been the subject of debate for a long period of time. Recently, it has been proposed to extend such a treatment for implantation failure in humans, and I was asked to express my opinion on this topic.

Methods:  I reviewed the evolution and theories and current paradigms in Reproductive Immunology and rationales proposed for IT. New discoveries show the complexity of implantation as a step by step developmental event, in mice and humans, and as such led me to re-examine paradigms currently evoked for extension of IT to implantation. Such a re-examination obviously leads me to re-question the basis of IT for RSA itself.

Conclusions:  I conclude that the Th1/Th2 paradigm, evoked as the current basis for IT, and as useful as it has been to explain pregnancy, is no longer sufficient. It is especially insufficient to explain the process of implantation, which involves inflammatory molecules and cannot fit in such a scheme. It ensues that alloimmunization has no scientific rationale for the treatment of human implantation as a whole, and should not be applied broadly at such a stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, its use in RSA should be re-examined.

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