• B-cells;
  • CD27;
  • infertility;
  • in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer;
  • T-cells

Problem:  To analyse percentage of total and memory CD27+ B-cells and other lymphocyte subpopulations in the peripheral blood (PB) and follicular fluid (FF) of infertile married couples.

Method of study:  Forty-eight couples from in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer (IVF/ET) programme were divided into four groups: patients with previous unsuccessful fertilization (n = 13), ectopic pregnancy (n = 8), multiple (at least three) failed IVF/ET (n = 18) and missed abortions (n = 9). Control group consisted of 15 married couples with healthy children.

Results:  PB memory CD27+ B-cells were significantly decreased in all groups of infertile patients compared with controls. First group had increased memory B-cells percentages compared with the second group. The differences in the percentages of PB memory B-cells in third and fourth group compared with the first group were not statistically significant. FF memory B-cells in the first and third group were significantly increased compared with second and fourth group. The percentage of total FF B-cells in all groups were significantly decreased compared with their percentage in PB. Male partners of women from the first group had had significantly increased percentages of memory B-cells compared with the partners of women from the second group. Percentage of total T- and B-cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, NK cells and activated HLA-DR+ T-cells in all groups were not significantly different from controls. We found no statistically significant difference between immunoglobulin E levels in all groups of patients. We found lower levels of IgA and IgM in FF compared with serum in all groups.

Conclusion:  Infertile patients have significantly decreased percentage of CD27+ B-cells in the PB. Abnormalities in the memory B-cell compartment may contribute to the pathogenesis of infertility. In the T-cell compartment abnormalities were not detected. It appears that hormonal stimulation did not influence cellular immunity parameters.