ABSTRACT: In order to investigate the role of the idiotypic network in miscarriages, sera from 28 habitually aborting women undergoing paternal leukocyte immunization were studied for the presence of HLA antibodies and related anti-idiotypes. Sixty-eight percent of sera from preimmunized patients which did not contain anti-lymphocyte antibodies inhibited the activity of antibodies to the HLA class I antigens expressed by the spouse.
This inhibitory activity could be assigned to IgM antibodies, which cross-inhibit antibodies of similar specificity. This suggests that they are antiidiotypes for the binding site of HLA antibodies. Immune sera of successfully treated patients exhibited both cytotoxic IgG anti-HLA antibodies and inhibitory IgM anti-idiotypic antibodies. A possible role for an intact idiotypic network in maintaining pregnancy is suggested.