Miscarriage Causes: Immune Mechanisms

The fetus contains foreign genetic material coming from the father, but in normal circumstances it does not get rejected. However, in some women the immune system may reject the fetus and cause a miscarriage either by being high in numbers or by abnormal hostile activity. There are several immune disorders:-

Natural Killer Cytotoxicity

What are Natural Killer Cytotoxicity Assay and Drug Assays?

Natural killer (NK) cells are a major component of innate immunity and are responsible for immune surveillance. They induce direct cytotoxicity or secretion of cytokine/chemokine (chemicals) without recognising a specific antigen (foreign threat) as B and T cell, hence the name NK. NK cytotoxicity plays an important role in immune response against infected cells, malignancy, and stressed cells, and involves in pathologic process in various diseases. These cytotoxic functions are markedly variable among individuals, and NK function analysis has become a more routine practice in many diseases.

In clinical laboratory, several methods have been used to define the NK function in different diseases. The 51 chromium release assay has been considered as the gold standard method for measuring NK activity. In our laboratory we have introduced flow cytometry to measure NK cytotoxicity using labelled target cells to assess the function of these cells and their role in a pregnancy environment.


We also introduced an assessment of the killer effect of 3 different drugs on the activity of these cells in a pregnancy environment. The drugs include Prednisolone, IVIG and Intralipid infusion.