The aim of this study was to determine the changes in circulating T-cell subpopulations, B cells and natural killer cells in patients with imminent preterm labour.
Thirty-five pregnant patients with imminent preterm labour and 35 women with uncomplicated pregnancies were included in the study. The gestational ages of the patients ranged from 28 to 36 weeks in both groups. The specific lymphocyte antigens were detected using direct staining with monoclonal antibodies, and analysed by flow cytometry.
We observed no significant difference in the mean percentage of T cell subpopulations, natural killer cells and active T cells in the group of patients with preterm labor when compared to controls. The mean percentage of T CD3+ lymphocytes was significantly lower and that of B CD19+ cells higher in the study group when compared to controls.
The alterations in maternal circulating lymphocyte subpopulations could be associated with the mechanisms mediating preterm labour.