Phenotypic changes associated with advancing gestation in maternal and fetal baboon lymphocytes

Luis D Giavedoni, Natalia Schlabritz-Loutsevitch, Vida L. Hodara, Laura M. Parodi, Gene B. Hubbard, Donald J. Dudley, Thomas J. McDonald, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Baboons are very similar to humans in ontogeny, reproductive physiology, and placentation, and thus serve as an excellent nonhuman primate model for use in both normative and perturbation studies of pregnancy that cannot be performed on pregnant women. However, little is known about the changes induced by normal pregnancy in the maternal and fetal baboon in lymphocyte subset composition, and lymphocyte activation and proliferation. We performed multicolor flow cytometry analysis of peripheral venous blood samples obtained from pregnant baboons at mid-gestation (0.5 G), and from matched fetal heart (FH) and umbilical cord (UC) blood at the end of gestation (0.95 G). Compared with their mothers at 0.95 G, fetal lymphocytes had higher percentages of B and CD4 + T cells, and lower numbers of NK and CD8+ T cells. When comparing pregnant baboons at 0.5 and 0.95 G, we also found that pregnancy induces immune stimulation, measured as higher activation without proliferation of CD8+ T and NK cells in the maternal circulation. Our study adds new data to support the notion of pregnancy-induced immune activation and strengthens the value of the baboon as a nonhuman primate model for studies pertinent to human reproductive physiology, pathology, and vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Activation
  • Baboon
  • Fetus
  • Lymphocytes
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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