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Analysis of regulatory T cells and CTLA-4 expression in pregnant women according to seropositivity to Toxoplasma gondii

  • Karine Rezende-Oliveira (a1), César Gómez-Hernández (a2), Marcos Vinicius da Silva (a2), Fernanda Rodrigues Helmo (a2) and Virmondes Rodrigues (a2)...


Pregnancy is considered a period in which immunomodulation occurs, although it is important for the maintenance of the foetus, could contribute to infections as Toxoplasma gondii. Immune response cells such as regulatory T cells participate in this immunomodulation, and surface molecules such as CTLA-4 develop an immunosuppressive role, could contribute to the establishment of the parasite. This study aimed to evaluate the presence of regulatory T cells and the expression of CTLA-4 in parturient and non-pregnant seropositive and seronegative for anti-T. gondii antibodies. Sixty-two participants were evaluated, 14 parturient with negative serology, 23 parturient with positive serology, 16 non-pregnant women seronegative and 9 non-pregnant women seropositive. Immunophenotyping was performed for characterize TCD4+Foxp3+ cells, T CD4+CD25-Foxp3+, TCD4+CD25highFoxp3+, TCD4+CTLA-4+, TCD4+CD25-CTLA-4+ and TCD4+CD25highCTLA-4+. We observed a lower level of CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ cells from seropositive parturient compared with seropositive non-pregnant cells. Significative levels of CD4+CD25-Foxp3+ cells from seronegative pregnant were observed compared with seropositive pregnant cells. Furthermore, the higher level of CD4+CD25-CTLA-4+ cells populations was detected in seropositive pregnant cells compared with seropositive non-pregnant. Although a significant increase in CTLA-4 cells was observed in pregnant women positive for anti-T. gondii antibodies, this increase did not cause a risk of reactivation of the infection.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Cesar Gómez-Hernández, E-mail:


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Contributed equally to this work.



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Analysis of regulatory T cells and CTLA-4 expression in pregnant women according to seropositivity to Toxoplasma gondii

  • Karine Rezende-Oliveira (a1), César Gómez-Hernández (a2), Marcos Vinicius da Silva (a2), Fernanda Rodrigues Helmo (a2) and Virmondes Rodrigues (a2)...


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