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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2013 Aug;70(2):104-15. doi: 10.1111/aji.12112. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

Decreased levels of folate receptor-β and reduced numbers of fetal macrophages (Hofbauer cells) in placentas from pregnancies with severe pre-eclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Pre-eclampsia (PE), a pregnancy complication of unknown etiology, is a major cause of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity. Previous studies have described placental genes that are up-regulated in expression in PE, but few studies have addressed placental gene suppression in this syndrome.

METHOD OF STUDY:

Gene profiling and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRTPCR) analyses were used to identify genes down-regulated in placentas from women with severe preterm PE compared with gestational age-matched normotensive controls with spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB). Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate levels and patterns of cell type-specific protein expression in PE and sPTB group placentas.

RESULTS:

Levels of macrophage marker [folate receptor (FR)-β, CD163, and CD68] mRNA and FR-β protein were significantly down-regulated in PE group placentas compared with the sPTB group. Numbers of Hofbauer cells (HBCs, fetal macrophages) and FR-β protein in these cells were reduced in PE group placentas.

CONCLUSION:

Severe PE is associated with decreased placental expression of FR-β and a reduction in the number of HBCs. Reduced placental macrophage function is likely to play a key role in the pathophysiology of PE.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

KEYWORDS:

Hofbauer cells; fetal macrophages; folate receptor; placenta

PMID:
23480364
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3686834
Free PMC Article
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