PROBLEM: The expression of the pregnancy-specific glycoprotein (PSG) genes in the uterine endometrium of women experiencing recurrent first-trimester abortions, and potential correlations to cytokine expression were examined.
METHOD OF STUDY: Endometrial RNA, isolated from women with a history of either repetitive first-trimester pregnancy losses or uncomplicated pregnancies, was isolated and analyzed for PSG transcripts by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction method. PSG genes showing different patterns of expression were expressed in baculovirus, and the purified proteins examined for their effects on cytokine expression.
RESULTS: The expression of PSG11 in the endometria of recurrent aborters was significantly lower than in that of controls (P < 0.01). When tested on monocytes, PSG11 stimulated secretion of interleukin (IL)-10.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of expression of the PSG11 gene in the uterine endometrium, during the peri-implantation period, correlates with the risk of pregnancy loss in some women experiencing recurrent spontaneous abortions. The ability of PSG 11 to influence the secretion of IL-10 suggests that PSG11 may contribute to the local modulation of the inflammatory T helper-1 response seen in the endometrium of these women.