Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services--Health Services

Committee Director

Robert Ratzlaff

Committee Member

Keith Hansen

Committee Member

Gregory Frazer

Committee Member

Lindsay Rettie

Committee Member

Clare Houseman


Ectopic gestation is an error in the implantation site of the blastocyst. Extrauterine implantation presents a unique environment since the protective features of the uterus are absent. This study is an investigation into the immunoregulatory differences that may develop as a result of a change in the feto-maternal junction.

The effects of female plasma on one-way mixed lymphocyte cultures and mitogen-stimulated cultures, anti-paternal lymphocytotoxicity, and lymphocyte phenotypes were determined on normal, ectopic and non-pregnant females. The results indicated that pregnant female plasma enhanced the response of autologous lymphocytes to spouse and male control lymphocytes. Enhancement was not seen in the mixed lymphocyte cultures from non-pregnant, ectopic females, or unrelated males. Lymphocytes from ectopic females were not responsive to plasma from normal pregnant females. There was no differences in the mitogen cultures and leukocyte phenotypes among the three pregnancy conditions. These results suggest the presence of some factor(s) in the plasma of pregnant females capable of enhancing autologous lymphocytes. Such factor(s) and the enhancement of lymphocyte responses seem to be lacking in cultures from ectopic pregnant and non-pregnant females.