Problem: The purpose of the study was to determine the role of T-cell apoptosis in extracellular matrix (ECM) environment in pregnancy maintenance in women with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA).
Method of study: Thirty-nine non-pregnant women with the history of RSA (anatomic, genetic, endocrine and microbiologic causes were excluded) and 22 healthy women with the previous successful pregnancy outcome were studied. In addition, 21 women with the history of RSA were also studied at the beginning of their next pregnancy. We studied apoptosis of peripheral blood T cells after culture with monoclonal antibody (mAb) OKT-3 alone or with mAb OKT-3 following ECM proteins: collagen IV (C-IV) or fibronectin (Fn). We used Cell Death Detection ELISA for studying cell death in cell population. In addition, apoptotic peripheral blood T cells were identified by annexin V-PE staining protocol using flow cytometry. CD29+ and CD95+ T-cell surface receptors were also analyzed by flow cytometry.
Results: The significantly higher values of enrichment factor: mU of the sample (dying/dead cells) per mU of the corresponding control (viable cells) were observed after peripheral blood T-cell culture with C-IV (P = 0.0002) or Fn (P = 0.004) in samples of non-pregnant women with the history of RSA when compared with control women. The significantly higher values of enrichment factor were observed after peripheral blood T-cell culture with C-IV in samples of pregnant women with the history of RSA with successful pregnancy outcome when compared with pregnant women with the history of RSA with failed pregnancy outcome (P = 0.01). However, the percentage of apoptotic T cells stained by annexin V was significantly lower in non-pregnant RSA women compared with control (P = 0.0001). CD95 expression was significantly lower in non-pregnant RSA women compared with control (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Apoptosis of T cells might be an interesting possible explanation of successful pregnancy outcome in women with the history of RSA.