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Immunology of Pregnancy

Editor(s): Markert U.R. (Jena) 
Table of Contents
Vol. 89, No. , 2005
Section title: Psycho-Immuno-Endocrine Interactions
Market UR (ed): Immunology of Pregnancy. Chem Immunol Allergy. Basel, Karger, 2005, vol 89, pp 118-125

Progesterone-Dependent Immunomodulation

Szekeres-Bartho J. · Polgar B. · Kozma N. · Miko E. · Par G. · Szereday L. · Barakonyi A. · Palkovics T. · Papp O. · Varga P.
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Pecs University, Medical School, Reproductive and Tumor Immunology Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pecs, Hungary

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The biological effects of progesterone are mediated by a 34-kDa protein named the progesterone- induced blocking factor (PIBF). PIBF, synthesized by lymphocytes of healthy pregnant women in the presence of progesterone, inhibits arachidonic acid release as well as NK activity, and modifies the cytokine balance. Within the cell the full-length PIBF is associated with the centrosome, while secretion of shorter forms is induced by activation of the cell. PIBF induces nuclear translocation of STAT6 as well as PKC phosphorylation and exerts a negative effect on STAT4 phosphorylation. The concentration of PIBF in pregnancy urine is related to the positive or negative outcome of pregnancy; furthermore, premature pregnancy termination is predictable by lower than normal pregnancy PIBF values. In vivo data suggest the biological importance of the above findings. Treatment of pregnant Balb/c mice with the antiprogesterone RU 486 results in an increased resorption rate, which is associated with the inability of spleen cells to produce PIBF. High resorption rates induced by progesterone receptor block as well as those due to high NK activity are corrected by simultaneous PIBF treatment.

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