Bidirectional cytokine interactions in the maternal-fetal relationship: is successful pregnancy a TH2 phenomenon?

Immunol Today. 1993 Jul;14(7):353-6. doi: 10.1016/0167-5699(93)90235-D.


Pregnant females are susceptible to intracellular pathogens and are biased towards humoral rather than cell-mediated immunity. Since TH1 cytokines compromise pregnancy and TH2 cytokines are produced at the maternal-fetal interface, we hypothesize that these TH2 cytokines inhibit TH1 responses, improving fetal survival but impairing responses against some pathogens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology


  • Cytokines