In pregnant women affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) we observed increased percentages of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells at the 1st and the 2nd trimester of gestation that was associated with a decreased T-bet expression in CD4(+) T cells. In women showing clinical relapse and/or new lesions at MRI after delivery we found, a higher expression of T-bet, pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 in CD4(+), CD8(+) T cells and CD14(+) cells, associated with an increase of IFNgamma and IL17 production by PBMC at the 3rd trimester of gestation and after delivery. Our data suggest that the expansion of circulating CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and the lower expression of T-bet in CD4(+) T cells may account for the decreased MS activity during pregnancy. The expression of T-bet, pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 in peripheral blood CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and monocytes could be useful to identify MS patients who will develop a relapse after delivery.
Iorio, R., Frisullo, G., Nociti, V., Patanella, A. K., Bianco, A., Marti, A., Mirabella, M., Tonali, P. A., Batocchi, A. P., T-bet, pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells during pregnancy correlates with post-partum activation of multiple sclerosis., <<CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY>>, 2008; 2008 (Dicembre): 70-83 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/7634]