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|Title:||REGULATORY T CELLS AND OBSTETRIC COMPLICATION: PERINATAL DEPRESSION AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH|
|Keywords:||perinatal depression;regulatory T cells;cardiovascular|
|Abstract:||Regulatory T cells (TRegs) are stable markers of immune functioning, acting to suppress inflammation. TRegs are important during implantation and early pregnancy where they suppress immune-mediated rejection of the embryo. Given the role of TRegs in the maintenance of pregnancy, their depletion can be associated with obstetric complications. Through the completion of two studies, this thesis seeks to identify the role of TRegs in two forms of perinatal pathology: depression and arterial thickening. The first study examines whether decreased TReg levels during pregnancy are associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, and if this relationship is mediated by maternal stress. We predicted that the TReg-depression relationship would be unique to pregnancy, and not occur in the postpartum. In the second study we assessed if decreased TRegs were inversely correlated with carotid arterial thickness. TReg samples were obtained from women between 24 and 32 weeks gestation (N=16), and at 12 weeks postpartum (N=19). Depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Mongomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) , and stress with the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). TRegs were measured using flow cytometry. In the first study, we showed that lower TRegs were associated with increased levels of depression in pregnancy, and that this association was mediated by perceived stress. In the postpartum period, TRegs were not associated with changes in mood. In the second study, we found no relationship between TRegs and carotid arterial thickness. Our results suggest that TReg changes in pregnancy may be associated with maternal mood in pregnancy, but not in the postpartum period. Despite the fact that we failed to find a correlation between TRegs and carotid arterial thickness during pregnancy, our limited sample size leads us to recommend that the presence of an inverse correlation between these two markers not be ruled out, but suggest that these links be further examined using a larger sample and more precise imaging. Together, these two studies may provide very early insights into the role of TRegs in perinatal mood disorders and cardiovascular health and highlight the need for further research.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Lauren Wright FINAL.docx||complete thesis||1.35 MB||Microsoft Word XML||View/Open|
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