Immunology Updates

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 379-386

What is the role of regulatory T cells in the success of implantation and early pregnancy?

  • Shigeru SaitoAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of ToyamaCenter of Excellence (COE) 21st Program Email author 
  • , Tomoko ShimaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Akitoshi NakashimaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Arihiro ShiozakiAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Mika ItoAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama
  • , Yasushi SasakiAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toyama

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Abstract

Problem

The immune system is well controlled by the balance between immunostimulation and immunoregulation. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells and an enzyme called indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) mediate maternal tolerance of the allogeneic fetus. Treg cells, therefore, may prevent early pregnancy loss due to maternal ‘rejection.’

Methods

The latest understanding of tolerance during pregnancy is reviewed.

Results and conclusions

Recent data show that CD4+CD25+ Treg cells play essential roles in the induction and maintenance of tolerance, and that they augment the IDO activity in dendritic cells and macrophages. Therefore, CD4+CD25+ Treg cells and IDO enzyme may cooperate in the induction of tolerance during pregnancy. Treg deficiency is associated with very early post-implantation loss and spontaneous abortion in animal models, and low Treg levels are associated with recurrent miscarriages in humans.

Keywords

CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell CTLA-4 Decidua IDO Miscarriage Preeclampsia