|Glossary of Immunological Terms - C|
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This is a phospholipid. Some individuals make an antibody to cardiolipin and this causes the blood to clot too quickly. Patients who lose pregnancies through miscarriage sometimes have a false positive test for syphilis because they have antibodies to cardiolipin that were manufactured when the pregnancy miscarried.
CD (Cluster of differentiation).
This is a designation used to catalogue surface molecules (antennae) on lymphocytes (white blood cells). It tells what the cell is and how activated it is. For example, Natural Killer cells have CD 56+. B lymphocytes express CD 19+ and produce antibodies that sometimes can damage a pregnancy.
CD4 T Helper Cell.
This is a T lymphocyte that helps activate CD3 cells in an immunity response by producing cytokines that cause proliferation, differentiation and growth of other cells necessary for completing the immune reaction. These are usually high normal in women with infertility and recurrent pregnancy losses.
Cell mediated Immunity.
This is immune destruction caused by killer cells, not antibodies. Natural Killer Cells can become activated in infertile women or women who lose pregnancies through miscarriage. These activated cells produce Tumor Necrosis Factor that kills placental cells.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
A procedure in which a small sample of cells are taken from the placenta through a small catheter placed up through the vagina and the cervix. This is done earlier in pregnancy than amniocentesis and is used to test for chromosomal and other biochemical abnormalities that may affect the health and well being of the baby.
These are part of the babies DNA. They are rod shaped structures (genes) located in the center of all cells. These contain the hereditary, genetic material given by mother and father to the baby. Babies have 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 total). Two of these chromosomes are the sex chromosomes that are called X and Y. Baby girls have 2 X chromosomes and boys have one X and one Y chromosome.
This refers to the slow safe freezing of embryos, sperm or white blood cells for future use. At the present time unfertilized eggs do not freeze well. Freezing seems to damage them and make them difficult to fertilize at a later time.
These are hormones produced by white blood cells (lymphocytes) that communicate with other cells of the immune system, recruiting them to perform more aggressive roles in the fighting off of infection or in the rejection of something from the body such as a baby, a kidney or a bone marrow transplant.
This is a specialized cell of the placenta (also a trophoblast) whose function is to attach the baby to the mother's uterus. It provides the anchor. It grows deeply into the lining of the uterus (decidua) and firmly attaches the placenta for the duration of pregnancy.