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J Infect Dis. 2002 Nov 1;186(9):1371-5. Epub 2002 Oct 3.

Immunity to placental malaria. IV. Placental malaria is associated with up-regulation of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in intervillous blood.

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Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) may play a role in immune responses to malaria during pregnancy by virtue of its ability to activate macrophages and to overcome the immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids. The present study investigated whether plasma MIF levels are altered in pregnant women with placental malaria (PM) and/or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. For the first time it is demonstrated that MIF levels in the intervillous blood (IVB) plasma were significantly elevated, compared with that in both peripheral plasma ( approximately 500-fold) and cord plasma (4.6-fold; P<.01). IVB mononuclear cells also produced significantly higher levels of MIF, compared with that of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. PM was associated with increased levels of MIF in the IVB plasma (P<.02). Primigravid and secundigravid women had significantly higher levels of MIF in their IVB plasma than did multigravid women (P<.05). HIV infection did not significantly alter MIF levels in any site examined.

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