Peripheral Immunological Cells in Pregnant Women and their Change during Diabetes

Ulrike Friebe-Hoffmann, Linda Antony, Jan-Steffen Kruessel, Brigitte Pawlowski, Thomas Karl Hoffmann
Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 2017, 125 (10): 677-683
During the last decades the incidence of diabetes has dramatically increased as well as the number of pregnant diabetic women. There is still missing data regarding patterns and shifts of immune cell populations due to pregnancy with or without diabetes. The study aimed to investigate the impact of pregnancy, type 1 diabetes (T1D) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on different immune cells in female. The number and proportion of CD3-, CD4-, CD8- and γδ T-cells as well as B-, NK-, NKT- and dendritic cells (DC) incl. rate of apoptosis was analyzed in peripheral blood samples from 24 non-pregnant women, 24 pregnant controls, 25 non-pregnant T1D, 18 women with GDM and 15 pregnant T1D (PT1D) women. Compared to healthy controls, healthy pregnant women had reduced numbers of lymphoid DC and γδ T-cells, while women with gestational diabetes presented with increased numbers of γδ T-cells. Pregnant women with T1D showed increased NKT cells and a decrease of NK cells compared to healthy pregnant or non-pregnant T1D women. Apoptosis of γδ T-cells in healthy pregnant women was found to be decreased in comparison to their non-pregnant controls while apoptosis of myeloid and lymphoid DC was increased in pregnant T1D in comparison to non-pregnant T1D. Those results may indicate that increased complication rates during diabetic pregnancies might be due to an impaired adaptation of the immune system.

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