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B- and T-cells in the Follicular Fluid and Peripheral Blood of Patients Undergoing IVF/ET Procedures


Address reprint requests to Sanja Vujisić, Laboratory for Human Reproduction, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, University of Zagreb, Sveti Duh Hospital, Sveti Duh 64, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.


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.