Journal Article

Antibodies to phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine are associated with increased natural killer cell activity in non-male factor infertility patients

Geoffrey Sher, Jeffrey D. Fisch, Ghanima Maassarani, William Matzner, Wendell Ching and Penny Chong

in Human Reproduction

Published on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Volume 15, issue 9, pages 1932-1936
Published in print September 2000 | ISSN: 0268-1161
Published online September 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2350 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/humrep/15.9.1932
Antibodies to phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine are associated with increased natural killer cell activity in non-male factor infertility patients

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Antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) have been identified in patients with recurrent pregnancy loss and IVF failure. Of these, antiphosphatidylethanolamine (aPE) and antiphosphatidylserine (aPS) may have special significance. A link between increased natural killer cell activity (NKa+) and trophoblast cell apoptosis has also been reported. This study was undertaken to determine how the APA profile was associated with peripheral NK cell activity. We evaluated 197 female IVF candidates for APA and NKa. Eighty-nine patients (45%) were APA+ and of these, 51 (57%) were aPE/aPS+. Fifty-four patients (27%) had increased NK cell activity. Some 51% of APA+ and 78% of aPE/aPS+ patients had increased NK cell activity compared with 8% and 13% when APA and aPE/aPS tested negative respectively (P < 0.0001). Non-male factor infertility patients were APA+ and NKa+ in 57% and 34% of cases respectively, compared with 19% and 13% if a pure male factor was present. Some 88% of aPE/aPS+, non-male factor patients had increased NK cell activity, compared with 12% who tested aPE/aPS negative (P < 0.0001) and 25% of aPE/aPS+, isolated male factor patients (P < 0.0001). These findings establish a direct relationship between APA (specifically aPE/aPS) and increased peripheral NK cell activity among non-male factor infertility patients. It is possible that APA do not directly cause reproductive failure but rather function as markers or intermediaries for an underlying, abnormal activation of cellular immunity.

Keywords: antibodies; in-vitro fertilization; natural killer cells; phosphatidylethanolamine; phosphatidylserine

Journal Article.  3909 words. 

Subjects: Reproductive Medicine

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