PROBLEM: Spontaneous abortions due to immunological rejection of the embryo may be avoided by immunotherapy with paternal allogeneic leukocytes but there is no appropriate method to detect and differentiate this group of aborters from other groups. METHODS: In previous studies we have demonstrated that in about two-thirds of sera from women with spontaneous abortions the IgG antibodies are responsible (alone or in combination with other factors) for the embryotoxic effects of these sera on cultured rat embryos. We presently cultured 10.5-day-old rat embryos on highly teratogenic serum ('high risk' serum that induced anomalies in more than 50% of the embryos) from women with spontaneous abortions, where the IgG fraction was exchanged with IgG from control sera and vice-versa. We studied by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) the extent of yolk sac damage in comparison to the rate of embryonic anomalies. RESULTS: In cases where IgG antibodies were teratogenic, embryos cultured in control sera with IgG from 'high risk' sera exhibited ultrastructural yolk sac damage as well as embryonic anomalies, and the yolk sacs cultured in 'high risk' sera with control IgG were normal. In cases in which the IgG exchange did not change the rate of anomalies, as IgG was not teratogenic, yolk sacs from embryos cultured in 'high risk' sera remained damaged, while yolk sacs from embryos cultured in control sera after IgG exchange stayed normal. Although no significant difference in total IgG levels was found between the groups, a higher IgG1 level in sera from women with teratogenic IgG was observed in comparison to control women's sera. The obstetrical history of the women with two or more abortions who took part in our study showed that there were more cases of unknown etiology of the abortion in the women from the 'high risk' group. CONCLUSIONS: The serum and the IgG fraction from women with habitual abortions can be tested in whole embryo culture to evaluate the embryonic and yolk sac damage. On this basis it may be possible to detect the women in whom the habitual abortions result from immunological rejection.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||American Journal of Reproductive Immunology|
|State||Published - Feb 1996|
- 'High' and 'low risk' sera
- Clinical history