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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Immunological Adaptations to Pregnancy in Women with Type 1 Diabetes

Bart Groen, Anne-Eva van der Wijk, Paul P van den Berg, Joop D Lefrandt, Gerrit van den Berg, Krystina M Sollie, Paul de Vos, Thera P Links, Marijke M Faas
Scientific Reports 2015, 5: 13618
26391604
Despite adequate glycemic control, pregnancy outcome of women with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is still unfavorable as compared to healthy women. In a rat-model of T1D under normoglycemic conditions, adverse pregnancy outcome was also observed, which was associated with aberrant immunological adaptations to pregnancy. Because similar processes may occur in women with T1D we studied the systemic immune response in non-pregnant and pregnant women with and without T1D. The systemic immune response was assessed by using flow cytometry to evaluate the number and activational status of subpopulations of lymphocytes, Natural Killer cells and monocytes in peripheral blood of non-pregnant and pregnant women with and without T1D. An increased white blood cell count, an increased Th1/Th2 ratio, increased Natural Killer cell expression of CD335 and enhanced activation of intermediate and non-classical monocytes was observed in pregnant women with T1D vs. healthy pregnant women. Also, the pregnancy outcome (i.e. incidence of preterm delivery and macrosomia) of women with T1D was unfavorable as compared to healthy women. This study showed that in T1D, the immunological adaptations to pregnancy are disturbed. In addition to hyperglycemia, these different immunological adaptations may be responsible for the greater frequency of complications in pregnant women with T1D.

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