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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 416739, 12 pages
Research Article

Changes in the Th1 : Th2 Cytokine Bias in Pregnancy and the Effects of the Anti-Inflammatory Cyclopentenone Prostaglandin 15-Deoxy- -Prostaglandin

1Parturition Research Group, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Institute of Reproduction and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, W120NN London, UK
2St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, W21NY London, UK

Received 13 January 2012; Revised 6 March 2012; Accepted 2 April 2012

Academic Editor: Noboru Uchide

Copyright © 2012 Lynne Sykes 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.


Pregnancy is a complex immunological state in which a bias towards T helper 2 (Th2) protects the fetus. Evidence suggests that proinflammatory cytokines increase the risk of poor neonatal outcome, independently of the direct effect of preterm labour. The anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-Prostaglandin J2 (15dPGJ2) inhibits nuclear factor Kappa B (NF-κB) in amniocytes and myocytes in vitro and is a ligand for the chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2) receptor. Here we examine the Th1:Th2 cytokine bias in pregnancy and whether 15dPGJ2 could be used to inhibit the production of the proinflammatory cytokines through inhibition of NF-κB while simultaneously promoting Th2 interleukin 4 (IL-4) synthesis via CRTH2 in T helper cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from women at 28 weeks, term pre-labour, term labour as well as non-pregnant female controls were cultured with 15dPGJ2 or vehicle control and stimulated with phorbol myristyl acetate (PMA)/ionomycin. The percentage of CD4+ cells producing interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in response to PMA/ionomycin was significantly reduced in pregnancy. 15dPGJ2 reduced IFN-γ and TNF-α production in stimulated T helper cells, but did not alter IL-4 production in CRTH2+ve cells. 15dPGJ2 also reduced phospho-p65 in stimulated PBMCs. In summary, 15dPGJ2 suppresses the Th1 response of PBMCs during pregnancy and active labour whilst maintaining the Th2 response suggesting a therapeutic benefit in reducing neonatal morbidity in inflammation-induced PTL.