PROBLEM: The increased reactivity of maternal lymphocytes in reciprocal mixed-maternal-paternal lymphocyte cultures (MMPLC), observed in the presence of control serum after immunotherapy, suggests that immunization with paternal lymphocytes may induce a highly significant cell mediated immune response in specifically alloactivated maternal lymphocytes.
METHOD: Reciprocal one-way MMPLC were set up with responding maternal or paternal lymphocytes and mitomycin C-treated stimulating lymphocytes. Cultures were set up for 6 days in the presence of 15% maternal or control serum. The degree of lymphocyte stimulation was measured by tritiated thymidine uptake.
RESULTS: In maternal serum, after immunotherapy, a highly significant blocking effect on MMPLC was observed in both directions. The extent of the blocking effect in maternal serum and the stimulation in control serum was much higher, after immunotherapy, in two cases of abortions, as compared to cases with normal pregnancy outcome.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the number of cases is very small, it may be that in abortions, in the presence of maternal serum, disturbances in the balance of cytokines or/and specific antibodies could have cytotoxic effects on MMPLC and down regulate, or “block” the specific response. For a possibly better utilization of the MMPLC test in the prediction of pregnancy outcome after immunotherapy, it may be important to examine specific antibodies in maternal serum, to investigate specifically induced cytokines in MMPLC and to evaluate T cell subsets in MMPLC in the presence of maternal and control serum.