Up-regulated expression of CD56+, CD56+/CD16+, and CD19+ cells in peripheral blood lymphocytes in pregnant women with recurrent pregnancy losses

Am J Reprod Immunol. 1995 Aug;34(2):93-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.1995.tb00924.x.


Problem: To analyze immunophenotypic profiles of peripheral blood and humoral autoimmune responses in women with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA).

Method: Peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets by flow cytometry and autoantibodies to phospholipids and nuclear components by ELISA were measured in nonpregnant and pregnant women with RSA of unknown etiology. Thirty-five pregnant and eighty-one nonpregnant women with RSA were studied. Seventeen nonpregnant and twenty-two pregnant normal controls were included.

Results: Natural killer (NK) cells (CD56+) were significantly elevated in nonpregnant women with RSA as compared with nonpregnant controls. Pregnant women with RSA demonstrated significantly increased NK (CD56+, CD56+/CD16+) and B cells (CD19+) as compared with pregnant controls. Women who miscarried the index pregnancy demonstrated significantly lower CD3+ cells in comparison with normal controls. Women with RSA and antiphospholipid antibodies showed significantly elevated NK cells when compared with women without antiphospholipid antibodies. Women with autoantibodies to nuclear components demonstrated significantly elevated CD19+/CD5+ cells when compared to women without autoantibodies to nuclear components.

Conclusions: Women with RSA demonstrate an abnormal cellular immune response by increasing peripheral natural killer cells and B cells as compared with normal controls.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / etiology
  • Abortion, Habitual / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / blood*
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • CD5 Antigens
  • CD56 Antigen
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / classification*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Up-Regulation / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Autoantibodies
  • CD5 Antigens
  • CD56 Antigen
  • Receptors, IgG