Peripheral Th1/Th2/Th17/regulatory T-cell balance in asthmatic pregnancy

G. Toldi, A. Molvarec, B. Stenczer, V. Müller, N. Eszes, A. Bohács, A. Bikov, J. Rigó, B. Vásárhelyi, G. Losonczy, L. Tamási

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Asthma is a common chronic disease that may complicate pregnancy and a risk factor for complications; however, immunological mechanisms of the bilateral interactions between asthma and pregnancy are not fully understood. Healthy gestation is characterized by a sensitive balance of T h1/T h2/T h17/regulatory T (Treg) cells that may be altered in asthmatic pregnancy. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of these cell subsets in asthmatic compared with healthy pregnancy. The prevalence of T h1, T h2, T h17 and Treg lymphocytes was identified by cell surface and intracellular marker staining in blood samples of 24 healthy non-pregnant (HNP), 23 healthy pregnant (HP), 15 asthmatic non-pregnant (ANP) and 15 asthmatic pregnant (AP) women using flow cytometry. The T h1/T h2 cell ratio was decreased in both HP and ANP compared with HNP women; however, no further decrease was observed in the AP group. The T h17/Treg ratio was decreased in HP, but not in AP women, compared with HNP data. Healthy pregnancy increased Treg cell prevalence compared with HNP data (4.64% versus 2.98%; P < 0.05), and this pregnancy-induced elevation was absent in AP women (2.52% versus 4.64%; P < 0.05). T h17 cell prevalence was similar in the HP and HNP groups (2.78% versus 3.17%; P > 0.05). Asthma increased T h17 prevalence in non-pregnant patients (3.81% versus 3.17%; P < 0.05), and this asthma-specific increase of T h17 cell prevalence was also observed in AP patients (AP versus HP: 3.44% versus 2.78%; P < 0.05). The abnormal asthma-dependent T h17 elevation together with blunted Treg increase may play a role in the compromised immune tolerance characterizing asthmatic pregnancy. © The Japanese Society for Immunology. 2011. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalInternational immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • T h17
  • Tc17
  • Treg
  • interleukin 17
  • adult
  • article
  • asthma
  • blood sampling
  • CD8+ T lymphocyte
  • cell surface
  • clinical article
  • controlled study
  • female
  • flow cytometry
  • human
  • human cell
  • immunological tolerance
  • natural killer cell
  • nonhuman
  • outcome assessment
  • pregnancy
  • priority journal
  • regulatory T lymphocyte
  • T lymphocyte subpopulation
  • Th1 cell
  • Th17 cell
  • Th2 cell
  • Adult
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Interleukin-17
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
  • Th1 Cells
  • Th17 Cells
  • Th2 Cells


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