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Keywords:

  • Flow cytometry;
  • decidua;
  • endometrium;
  • Th1;
  • Th2

Saito S, Tsukaguchi N, Hasegawa T, Michimata T, Tsuda H, Narita N. Distribution of Th1, Th2, and Th0 and the Th1/Th2 cell ratios in human peripheral and endometrial T cells. AJRI 1999; 42:240–245 © Munksgaard, Copenhagen

PROBLEM: To examine whether normal pregnancy involves type 2 T-helper (Th2) immune condition or not.

METHOD OF STUDY: We measured the percentage of Th0, Th1, and Th2 and the Th1/Th2 cell ratios of human peripheral blood and endometrial T cells using flow cytometry, which can analyze both the surface marker CD3, and intracellular cytokines, interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon γ (IFNγ).

RESULTS: No significant differences were found in the percentages of Th1, Th2, and Th0 and the Th1/Th2 cell ratios in the peripheral blood T cells of nonpregnant women and women in early pregnancy. On the other hand, the percentage of Th1 cells was highest during the proliferative phase of the endometrium, followed by the secretory phase and early pregnancy decidua. The percentage of Th2 cells was highest in early pregnancy decidua and lowest during the proliferative phase of the endometrium. The Th1/Th2 ratio was 147.48 ± 96.68 during the proliferative phase of the endometrium, 37.74 ± 21.33 during the secretory phase, and 1.31 ± 0.48 in the early pregnancy decidua.

CONCLUSIONS. These data indicate that Th1 cells predominate in the nonpregnant endometrium, especially during the proliferative phase, while Th2 cells predominate in early pregnancy decidua.