Section 9
Chapter 8,598

Elevation of amniotic fluid interleukin-4 concentrations in women with preterm labor and chorioamnionitis

Dudley, D.J.; Hunter, C.; Varner, M.W.; Mitchell, M.D.

American Journal of Perinatology 13(7): 443-447


ISSN/ISBN: 0735-1631
PMID: 8960615
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-994385
Accession: 008597209

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Preterm labor associated with intrauterine infection is characterized by increased amniotic fluid concentrations of various proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), IL-6, IL-8, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha). The purpose of this study was to determine if preterm labor in women with clinically evident chorioamnionitis is marked by elevations of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) and the T cell growth factor IL-2. Amniotic fluid samples were obtained from (1) women at term, not in labor (n = 10); (2) women at term, in labor (n = 10); (3) women with preterm contractions but undelivered within 1 week of amniotic fluid collection (n = 10); (4) women with preterm labor and delivery without clinically evident chorioamnionitis (n = 10); (5) women with preterm labor associated with chorioamnionitis (n = 8); and (6) women with preterm labor and delivery without infection matched with patients with chorioamnionitis (n = 8). Amniotic fluid concentrations of IL-4 and IL-2 were determined for each sample with a specific and sensitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found that women with infection-associated preterm labor and delivery had significantly higher concentrations of IL-4 when compared to appropriately matched controls (p < 0.05). Additionally, women with preterm labor and delivery not associated with infection had higher amniotic fluid IL-4 concentrations than women with preterm contractions but no labor (p < 0.05). Women with term labor had rare modest elevations of amniotic fluid IL-4. No IL-2 was detected in any sample. Our data indicate that amniotic fluid IL-4 is elevated in women with preterm labor and delivery, particularly in association with chorioamnionitis. We suggest that IL-4, although previously considered an anti-inflammatory agent, may have a paradoxical proinflammatory role in the pathogenesis of infection-associated preterm labor.

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