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Keywords:

  • Asthma;
  • fetal birth weight;
  • immunotolerance;
  • natural killer T cells;
  • pregnancy;
  • regulatory T cells

Citation Bohács A, Cseh Á, Stenczer B, Müller V, Gálffy G, Molvarec A, Rigó J Jr, Losonczy G, Vásárhelyi B, Tamási L. Effector and regulatory lymphocytes in asthmatic pregnant women. Am J Reprod Immunol 2010; 64: 393–401

Problem  Asthma influences pregnancy outcome and pregnancy affects asthma severity, but the immunologic mechanisms of these interactions are not fully elucidated.

Method  The prevalence of lymphocyte subsets was identified by cell surface markers and intracellular FoxP3 staining, in healthy non-pregnant (HNP; N = 15), healthy pregnant (HP; N = 33), asthmatic non-pregnant (ANP; N = 62) and asthmatic pregnant (AP; N = 61) women.

Results  Regulatory T cell (Treg) prevalence was higher in HP than in HNP subjects and showed a positive correlation with fetal birth weight, which was blunted in AP group. Treg prevalence was lower and invariable natural killer T cell prevalence was higher in AP patients (compared to HP). Higher naive and lower effector T cell prevalence was observed in AP than in ANP group.

Conclusion  Pregnancy-induced increase in Treg cell prevalence is absent in asthmatic pregnancy that may interfere with physiological intrauterine growth. However, pregnancy-specific inhibition of asthmatic inflammation can be detected in uncomplicated asthmatic pregnancy.