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Keywords:

  • Allogenic conflict;
  • human embryos;
  • placental barrier;
  • spontaneous early abortions

Problem

Morphologic changes in the placental barrier in spontaneous early abortions under the maternal-embryonic immune conflict, and the role of maternal immunoglobulins (Igs) in these changes.

Materials and methods

We examined chorionic villi and other tissues obtained from 54 aborts between weeks 3.5 and 8 of pregnancy. Material was divided into two groups. Group 1 (control) contained 15 medically recommended and spontaneous early aborts with no signs of inflammations or pathologic immune processes. Group 2 contained 39 spontaneous early aborts with acute chorionic villitis. Immunohistochemical and morphometric methods were used to study the Igs, different types of immunocompetent cells, and apoptosis-related components of the placental barrier.

Results

Acute villitis was found to be characterized by the destruction of all components of the chorionic villi, thrombovasculitis with apoptosis of the endothelium of capillaries and erythroblasts, mucous swelling of the basal membrane, and coagulation of the blood proteins. Due to destruction of the capillaries, the number of avasculate villi increased, and the average number of capillaries per villus decreased. The extremely high number of phagolysosomes with IgG and IgA in the villous monocytes in the group 2 indicates an increase in the phagocytic activity of monocytes against maternal Igs and may reflect the presence of mother-embryo immune conflict. Apoptosis of monocytes and a high number of promonocytes were seen accompanied by a high concentration of p53 protein. A large disturbance in the trophoblast occurred with disappearance of bcl-2 and the appearance of Fas ligand.

Conclusion

Massive destruction of maternal Igs in embryonic monocytes and acute villitis in the placental barrier are manifested during the mother-embryo immune conflict, and this may be one of the reasons of spontaneous early abortions.