Circulating T-Cell Subsets, Monocytes, and Natural Killer Cells in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy: Results From the Multicenter IPAC Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the hypothesis that the distribution of circulating immune cell subsets, or their activation state, is significantly different between peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) and healthy postpartum (HP) women. BACKGROUND: PPCM is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, and an immune-mediated etiology has been hypothesized. Cellular immunity, altered in pregnancy and the peripartum period, has been proposed to play a role in PPCM pathogenesis. METHODS: The Investigation of Pregnancy-Associated Cardiomyopathy (IPAC) study enrolled 100 women presenting with a left ventricular ejection fraction of <0.45 within 2 months of delivery. Peripheral T-cell subsets, natural killer (NK) cells, and cellular activation markers were assessed by flow cytometry in PPCM women early (<6 wk), 2 months, and 6 months postpartum and compared with those of HP women and women with non-pregnancy-associated recent-onset cardiomyopathy (ROCM). RESULTS: Entry NK cell levels (CD3-CD56+CD16+; reported as % of CD3- cells) were significantly (P < .0003) reduced in PPCM (6.6 ± 4.9% of CD3- cells) compared to HP (11.9 ± 5%). Of T-cell subtypes, CD3+CD4-CD8-CD38+ cells differed significantly (P < .004) between PPCM (24.5 ± 12.5% of CD3+CD4-CD8- cells) and HP (12.5 ± 6.4%). PPCM patients demonstrated a rapid recovery of NK and CD3+CD4-CD8-CD38+ cell levels. However, black women had a delayed recovery of NK cells. A similar reduction of NK cells was observed in women with ROCM. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with HP control women, early postpartum PPCM women show significantly reduced NK cells, and higher CD3+CD4-CD8-CD38+ cells, which both normalize over time postpartum. The mechanistic role of NK cells and "double negative" (CD4-CD8-) T regulatory cells in PPCM requires further investigation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McTiernan, CF; Morel, P; Cooper, LT; Rajagopalan, N; Thohan, V; Zucker, M; Boehmer, J; Bozkurt, B; Mather, P; Thornton, J; Ghali, JK; Hanley-Yanez, K; Fett, J; Halder, I; McNamara, DM; IPAC Investigators,

Published Date

  • January 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 33 - 42

PubMed ID

  • 29079307

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6467571

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8414

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cardfail.2017.10.012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States