• Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes;
  • pregnancy;
  • recurrent spontaneous abortion;
  • soluble TNF receptors;
  • tumor necrosis factor


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and soluble TNF receptors (sTNF-Rs) system related with Th1 and Th2 and activity of NF-κB/IκB regulatory system. This study was designed to compare sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 production (shedding) and levels of late activated CD8+ T-lymphocytes in non-pregnant (n = 30) and pregnant (n = 20) normal women and non-pregnant (n = 20) and pregnant (n = 30) RSA women. Effects of progesterone (natural structure) injections in RSA women were studied.

Methods of study

Levels of sTNF-R1, sTNF-R2, TNF in peripheral blood serum were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lymphocyte subsets were estimated by multicolor flow cytometry. NK cell cytotoxic activity of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) in whole blood against K562 targets was determined using Europium-release cytotoxicity assay. Mitogen-induced proliferative response of PBL to PHA-P, Con A and PWM were determined by standard 3H-thymidine incorporation assay.


Levels of soluble TNF-R1 and TNF-R2 in normal pregnancy were elevated when compared with non-pregnant normal women and pregnant RSA women. Levels of late activated CD8+ T-lymphocytes in normal pregnancy were decreased but no changes were detected in RSA women. After progesterone therapy (i.m. injections of 2.5% oil solution) in RSA women elevation of sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 to normal pregnancy ranges was observed. No changes in levels of late activated CD8+ T-lymphocytes after progesterone treatment were detected.


Elevation of levels of sTNF-R1, sTNF-R2 and decrease of late activated cytotoxic T-lymphocytes are pronounce markers of normal human pregnancy. In RSA women there are no elevation of sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 levels during pregnancy. This deficiency may be restored by progesterone treatment.