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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 670524, 9 pages
Research Article

T CD3+CD8+ Lymphocytes Are More Susceptible for Apoptosis in the First Trimester of Normal Human Pregnancy

1Department of Obstetrics and Perinatology, Medical University of Lublin, Ulica Jaczewskiego 8, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
2Department of Clinical Immunology, Medical University of Lublin, 20-950 Lublin, Poland

Received 20 April 2014; Accepted 24 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Enrico Maggi

Copyright © 2014 Dorota Darmochwal-Kolarz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. Normal human pregnancy is a complex process of many immunoregulatory mechanisms which protect fetus from the activation of the maternal immune system. The aim of the study was to investigate the apoptosis of lymphocytes in peripheral blood of normal pregnant patients and healthy nonpregnant women. Methods. Sixty pregnant women and 17 nonpregnant women were included in the study. Lymphocytes were isolated and labeled with anti-CD3, anti-CD4, and anti-CD8 monoclonal antibodies. Apoptosis was detected by CMXRos staining and analyzed using the flow cytometric method. Results. We found significantly higher apoptosis of total lymphocytes in peripheral blood of pregnant patients when compared to healthy nonpregnant women. The percentage of apoptotic T CD3+CD8+ cells in the first trimester was significantly higher when compared to the third trimester of normal pregnancy. The ratio of T CD3+CD4+ : T CD3+CD8+ apoptotic lymphocytes was significantly lower in the first trimester when compared to other trimesters of pregnancy and to both of the phases of the menstrual cycle. Conclusions. The higher apoptosis of T CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes and the lower ratio of T CD3+CD4+ : T CD3+CD8+ apoptotic cells in the first trimester of normal pregnancy may suggest a higher susceptibility of T CD3+CD8+ cells for apoptosis as a protective mechanism at the early stage of pregnancy.