Inhibition of Trophoblast Adhesion to Endothelial Cells by the Sera of Women with Recurrent Spontaneous Abortions


Department of Physiology and Pathology, University of Trieste. Via Fleming 22, 34127 Trieste, Italy.


PROBLEM: May anti-phospholipid or other autoantibodies interfere with trophoblast-endothelial cells interaction in women with unexplained pregnancy losses?

METHODS OF STUDY: The sera of 72 women with recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA) containing antibodies to endothelial cells (28), trophoblast (14), and cardiolipin (10) or lacking antibodies (25), and 26 controls were examined in an inhibition assay of trophoblast adhesion to endothelial cells using an ELISA based on the recognition of trophoblast by antibodies to cytokeratin.

RESULTS: Adhesion of trophoblast to endothelial cells was time- and dose-dependent. Patients and control sera inhibited trophoblast adhesion with mean values of 37% and 7%, respectively. Inhibition above 2SD of the mean control value was still observed in 58% of the patients sera and 8% of the control sera. Sera containing antibodies to endothelial cells had higher inhibitory effect (38%) than those with antibodies to trophoblast (23%) and cardiolipin (28%) or lacking antibodies (26%).

CONCLUSIONS: Antibodies and other undefined factors in the sera of women with RSA inhibit adhesion of trophoblast to endothelial cells.