Fetal T cell activation in the amniotic cavity during preterm labor: a potential mechanism for a subset of idiopathic preterm birth

Prematurity is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. In most cases, preterm birth is preceded by spontaneous preterm labor (PTL), a syndrome that is associated with intra-amniotic inflammation, the most studied etiology. However, the remaining etiologies of PTL are poorly understood; therefore, most preterm birth are categorized as idiopathic. Whether fetal T cell activation occurs
during idiopathic PTL is unknown.