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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Oct;187(4):889-93.

Maternal lymphocyte subpopulations (CD45RA+ and CD45RO+) in preeclampsia.

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Perinatology Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University/Hutzel Hospital, 4707 St. Antoine Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.



The maternal syndrome of preeclampsia has been attributed to a systemic intravascular inflammatory response and endothelial cell dysfunction. The stimulus responsible for intravascular inflammation in preeclampsia has not been determined. The expression of CD45 isoforms on the surface of human T cells has been used to classify CD4(+) T lymphocytes into naïve cells (CD45RA+) and memory T cells (CD45RO+). An increased percentage of CD45RO+ cells has been interpreted as consistent with previous exposure to microbial products or other antigens. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preeclampsia is associated with a change in the proportion of CD45RA+ and CD45RO+.


A prospective study was conducted in patients with preeclampsia (n = 24) and normal pregnancy (n = 75). The percentage of CD45RA+ and CD45RO+ on CD4(+) T lymphocytes in peripheral blood was determined using flow cytometry and monoclonal antibodies. Results were reported as a percentage of CD4(+) lymphocytes. Parametric statistics were used for analysis. A probability value of <.05 was considered statistically significant.


Patients with preeclampsia had a significantly higher percentage of CD45RO+ than normal pregnant women (P <.01). A significantly lower percentage of CD45RA+ was found in patients with preeclampsia than in normal pregnant women (P <.01).


Preeclampsia is associated with an increase in the percentage of CD45RO+ and a decrease in the CD45RA+ lymphocyte subpopulation. Therefore, patients with preeclampsia have evidence of previous antigenic exposure, the nature of which remains to be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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