Power, Lynsey L., Popplewell, Eleanor J., Holloway, Judith A., Diaper, Norma D., Warner, John O. and Jones, Catherine A.
Immunoregulatory molecules during pregnancy and at birth
Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 56, (1-2), . (doi:10.1016/S0165-0378(01)00146-2).
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Regulation of the maternal immune response to the fetal allograft is essential for the success of pregnancy and delivery of a well-developed neonate. Numerous mechanisms have been postulated to mediate this. We hypothesised that the potent immunosuppressive molecules TGF-?1 and IL-10 could contribute to this regulation in the mother and neonate during gestation. In comparison to non-pregnant women, TGF-?1 and cortisol levels were increased significantly in mid (16–18 weeks) and late pregnancy (>37 weeks, no labour), with levels of both highest in late gestation. In contrast, IL-10 levels were significantly lower in maternal plasma in mid-gestation compared with that from late pregnancy and from non-pregnant women. TGF-?1, IL-10 and cortisol were all detectable in umbilical cord blood plasma with TGF-?1 levels significantly decreased in association with labour in contrast to cortisol levels that increased with labour. IL-10 levels in cord plasma were comparable to those of adults and did not change with mode of delivery. Elevated levels of TGF-?1, but not IL-10, in the maternal and neonatal circulation could have a role in immunoregulation of the maternal response to the fetal allograft as well as growth and development of the fetus.
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