Changes in Maternal and Newborn Lymphocyte Reactivity in Reciprocal Mixed Lymphocyte Cultures During the Postpartum Period


B. Gattegno Research Institute, Hasharon Hospital, Petah-Tiqva 49372, P.O.B. 121, Israel.


ABSTRACT: Reciprocal one-way mixed mother-newborn lymphocyte cultures (MMNLC) containing alternatively maternal or newborn responding (R) or stimulating (S) cells were investigated in both directions in primiparae at three different times: a few hours after delivery, and at 4 and at 16 weeks. Cultures were grown in the presence of maternal and pooled control serum prepared from the blood of five to eight unrelated healthy donors. Four weeks after delivery in maternal and in control serum a significant increase in MMNLC reactivity could be observed, which disappeared at 16 weeks when a pronounced decline in MMNLC values in both directions was found. The suppressive effect of maternal serum was more pronounced at delivery, still evident 4 weeks later, and insignificant after 16 weeks. The results of this study suggest that 4 weeks after delivery, maternal sensitization to fetal histocompatibility antigens can be detected in primiparae with MMNLC; and that 16 weeks later, this was no longer detectable with the same test.