PROBLEM: Are recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSAs) associated with deviation of circulating cytokine-secreting cells?
METHOD OF STUDY: Interferon (IFN)-γ- and interleukin (IL)-4-secreting cells were identified by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) in blood from 34 women with RSA. Samples were taken before pregnancy and/or pregnancy weeks 7–10, 17–20, and after terminated pregnancy. Eleven healthy primigravidae and 10 nonpregnant women served as controls.
RESULTS: No significant difference in numbers of IFN-γ- and IL-4-secreting cells was noted within the RSA group when abortions and successful pregnancies were compared in samples taken before pregnancy. The number of IFN-γ- as well as IL-4-secreting cells in pregnancy weeks 17–20 in the RSA group was significantly higher compared with before pregnancy, pregnancy weeks 7–10, and after pregnancy. In samples from non-pregnant women, the number of IFN-γ- and IL-4-secreting cells was significantly higher in the RSA group compared with controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not indicate a systemic shift in the general balance between T helper 1- and T helper 2-type cytokine pattern. A local shift at the fetomaternal interface seems more probable.