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J Clin Invest. 1993 April; 91(4): 1834–1837.
PMCID: PMC288166

Prevention of fetal loss in experimental antiphospholipid syndrome by in vivo administration of recombinant interleukin-3.


Antiphospholipid antibodies are strongly associated with arterial and venous thrombosis and with fetal loss. Recently an experimental model for antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS) was established in our laboratory. In this model, mice are immunized passively or actively with anticardiolipin antibodies and acquire the syndrome, which is characterized by prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombocytopenia, low fecundity rate, and fetal loss. In a normal process of pregnancy, lymphokines affect fetal implantation and development. Cytokines from the colony stimulating factor family, like GM-CSF and IL-3, were shown to be positive signals for implantation and to promote placental development and fetal growth. Given our preliminary findings of low IL-3 in mice with APLS and the efficacy of IL-3 in preventing fetal loss in a strain of mice prone to fetal resorption, our aim in the present study was to examine the effect of murine recombinant IL-3 (mrIL-3) on pregnant mice induced with experimental APLS. Mice were passively transfused to the tail vein, 24 h following mating, with anticardiolipin antibodies. The mice were divided into two groups: one group was injected intraperitoneally with mrIL-3 on days 6.5, 8.5, and 10.5 after mating, while the control group was injected with PBS. When the mice were killed on day 15 of pregnancy a 32% +/- 4.2 resorption rate was observed in the anti-cardiolipin-immunized group, which was reduced to 4% +/- 0.3 following treatment with mrIL-3. The thrombocytopenia associated with the experimental APLS was also corrected following lymphokine administration. IL-3 may be effective in prevention of recurrent fetal loss in APLS.

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Selected References

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