Lymphocyte Transformation with Mitogens and Antigens during Normal Human Pregnancy: a Longitudinal Study

Authors

  • S. A. BIRKELAND,

    Corresponding author
    1. Tissue Culture Laboratory, Institute of Pathology, and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
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  • K. KRISTOFFERSEN

    1. Tissue Culture Laboratory, Institute of Pathology, and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
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S. A. Birkeland, Tissue Culture Laboratory, Institute of Pathology, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.

Abstract

In a longitudinal analysis of immunological changes in normal human pregnancy, twenty-two pregnant women were studied, with blood samples taken before pregnancy, during its course, at delivery, and 3–5 months after delivery. The blood samples were frozen successively, using a cryobiological freezing system, and were stored until the whole longitudinal series was obtained. The collected material for a longitudinal series was then thawed and tested in one seance. Lymphocyte transformation tests were performed with stimulation with the mitogens phytohae-magglutinin (PHA), pokeweed mitogen (PWM), concanavalin A (Con A) and the specific antigens tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD), Candida albicans (CA), Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and streptokinase/streptodornase (SK/SD). No changes were found in PHA or in PWM responses, whereas there were significant changes in the Con A response, with lowest values in the middle of pregnancy. PPD, CA, SA and SK/SD responses all reached lowest values towards the end of pregnancy, with increases subsequently, after delivery. These findings seem to show that T suppressor function is increased and B-lymphocyte function decreases during the course of pregnancy.

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