Th1 Cytokines and the Prothrombinase fgl2 in Stress-triggered and Inflammatory Abortion Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • PROBLEM: The immune system contributes to the outcome of pregnancy by complex immunological interactions. Cytokines especially influence the immune milieu pro or contra pregnancy. T helper 1 (Th1) cytokines [tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)] cause inflammation and together are thought to threaten the maintenance of pregnancy. It has been proposed that increased levels of these Th1 cytokines activate coagulation via up-regulating the novel prothrombinase, fgl2. This study further investigates the Th1 cytokine up-regulation of fgl2 expression in a pathophysiological, stress induced abortion model, and an inflammatory, interleukin-12 (IL-12) triggered abortion model. METHOD: The DBA/2J-mated CBA/J female mice were exposed to sonic sound stress or were injected with IL-12 during early gestation. On day 13.5 of pregnancy the uteri were removed and the resorption rate was calculated. We evaluated TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, fgl2 as well as IL-12 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in decidual samples of all mice by quantitative, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: A similar resorption rate of 24% was detected in stressed mice, as well as in IL-12 injected mice compared with approximately 11% in non-stressed, non-injected control mice. In stressed mice compared with controls, we observed on day 13.5 up-regulated TNF-alpha, unchanged IFN-gamma down-regulated fgl2, and a slightly increased levels of IL-12. In the IL-12 triggered abortion model, we observed up-regulated levels of TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and fgl2. CONCLUSION: These novel data suggest two distinct cytokine patterns leading to similar abortion rates. A physiological cascade associated with up-regulation of TNF-alpha, and an IL-12-triggered cascade characterized by persistent up-regulation of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma as well as a persistent increase in fgl2.

publication date

  • April 2003

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