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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
Original Research

Relationship Between Adenosine Deaminase Activity and Cytokine‐Secreting T Cells in Normal Pregnancy

Yoneyama, Yoshio MD; Sawa, Rintaro MD; Suzuki, Shunji MD; Yoneyama, Koichi MD; Doi, Daisuke MD; Araki, Tsutomu MD

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between plasma adenosine deaminase activity and the proportion of cytokine‐secreting T cells as causes of changes in adenosine deaminase activity in normal pregnancy.

METHODS: Plasma adenosine deaminase activity and the proportions of cytokine‐secreting T cells were measured in the peripheral blood of 26 nonpregnant and normal pregnant women in the third trimester. The proportion of CD4‐positive T cells secreting interferon‐γ derived from T helper 1 cells, and interleukin‐4 derived from T helper 2 cells, were analyzed by flow cytometry. The ratio of interferon‐γ–secreting cells to interleukin‐4–secreting cells was taken as the T helper 1/T helper 2 ratio.

RESULTS: Mean plasma adenosine deaminase activity in normal pregnant women, averaged, was significantly lower than that in nonpregnant women (10.3 ± 0.6 U/L versus 13.8 ± 0.5 U/L, P < .05). In normal pregnant women, the proportion of interferon‐γ–secreting cells was significantly lower than that in nonpregnant women (20.5% ± 1.0% versus 24.7% ± 1.2%, P < .05), but the proportion of interleukin‐4–secreting cells did not differ from that of nonpregnant women. Consequently, the T helper 1/T helper 2 ratios were significantly decreased during normal pregnancy. A significant correlation was found between adenosine deaminase activity and the proportion of interferon‐γ–secreting cells (r = .54, P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Decreased plasma adenosine deaminase activity in normal pregnant women may be in part associated with changes in the immunological status, especially the decrease of the proportion of interferon‐γ–secreting cells.

© 2002 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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