Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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Effect of parity on memory and regulatory T cells subsets in the decidua

(2017) Zijlker, L.P.

Introduction. During pregnancy, the maternal immune system acquires a unique state of tolerance for the allogeneic fetus. The exact mechanisms responsible for this tolerance remain unclear, however, modulation of the T-lymphocyte response at the fetal-maternal interface appears to be important for a successful pregnancy. From previous research it can be concluded that the maternal immune system can specifically recognise fetal antigens and forms memory cells possibly specific for these fetal antigens. Furthermore, the risk of developing immunological pregnancy complications is lower in subsequent pregnancies. In this research we aimed to determine the influence of parity on memory and regulatory T cell subsets in the human decidua.
Methods and Materials. Lymphocytes were enzymatically isolated from the decidua of nulliparous (n=4), primiparous(n=5) and multiparous women (n=6). The lymphocytes were stained with an antibody mix for characterisation of memory T cells and Tregs. Analysis was done using flow cytometry.
Results. We found highly activated memory T cell subsets, but no significant differences between the three groups . We found significantly higher proportions CD4+ and CD8+ activated Tregs in primiparous and multiparous women as well as suppressive CD4+ and CD8+ Tregs. We also found significantly higher proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ memory Tregs in primi- and multiparous women.
Conclusion. We conclude that parous women show a more activated and suppressive regulatory T cell population at the fetal-maternal interface, as well as higher proportions memory regulatory T cells. Further research is needed to investigate the effect of these changes in regulatory T cell subsets on the development of immunological pregnancy complications.

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