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Keywords:

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin G;
  • NK cell activity;
  • recurrent spontaneous abortion;
  • immunotherapy

We previously reported elevation of natural killer (NK) cells in women with recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) of immune etiology. In this study, we investigated the effect of intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIg) on peripheral blood NK activity in vivo in women with RSA. Blood was drawn prior to and 7–11 days after IVIg therapy in eight women with RSA. NK activity was measured using K562 as target cells for 51Cr-release assays. Serum IgG concentrations were also measured. All received 400 mg/kg/day of IVIg for 3 consecutive days. 1) Seven of eight women became pregnant. Five delivered a live born infant. Three out of five women (60%) who delivered a live born infant showed a significant inhibition of NK cytotoxicity post IVIg and the rest did not show any changes; 2) NK cytotoxicity was significantly increased in a woman who miscarried again; 3) A woman who miscarried a chromosomally abnormal fetus showed a significant inhibition of NK cytotoxicity after IVIg; and 4) Serum IgG concentration increased significantly from 9.3 ± 3.0 mg/ml to 23.5 ± 5.1 mg/ml post IVIg therapy. IVIg effectively inhibits peripheral blood NK activity in vivo. These results are consistent with our previous finding showing that IVIg inhibits NK cell activity in vitro. Women with RSA and elevated NK cells may benefit from IVIg treatment.