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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2002 December;15(6):177-82

language: English

Spontaneous abortions with increased CD56 and CD57 positive cells in the placental tissue during the first trimester of gestation

Tamiolakis D., Karamanidis D., Kotini A., Papadopoulos N.

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Background. The decidua is the place where the fertilized egg is implanted and where the immunocompetent cells of the mother come into direct contact with genetically disparate cells of the conceptus. Immunologic factors in human reproductive failure are plausible mechanisms of infertility and spontaneous abortion. The numbers of cells expressing the various lymphocytic markers change throughout pregnancy. In the present study we determined the role of lymphocytes in early pregnancy and pregnancy loss decidual tissue.
Methods. We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of mononuclear infiltrations in paraffin embedded placentas, from 15 fetuses after spontaneous abortion (8th, 10th, and 12th week of gestational age), and equal number of fetuses after therapeutic abortion at the same time, using a panel of monoclonal antibodies for the identification of T lymphocytes (CD3, CD4, CD8) and natural killer (NK) cells (CD56, CD57).
Results. Comparing CD3+, CD8+ and CD4+ (T lymphocyte subpopulations), and CD56+, CD57+ (also named NK cells) lymphocytes, we found no significant difference in numbers and proportions of T lymphocytes in normal early pregnancy and in spontaneous abortion (p>0.005), while the number of NK cells was significantly increased in spontaneous pregnancy loss (p<0.0001).
Conclusions. Our findings suggest that adverse pregnancy outcome is influenced by increased NK cytotoxic activity.

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