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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Sep;189(3):843-7.

Differential expression of TcR-CD3 zeta as evidence for altered immunoregulation in preeclamptic versus normotensive women.

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  • 1Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA.



The study was undertaken to exhibit and quantify the difference in modulation of CD3-zeta protein (an integral component of the T-cell receptor) in preeclamptic and normotensive women.


Serum was collected from 10 preeclamptic and 10 normotensive women at >or=37 weeks' gestation on admission. Jurkat E-61 cells were incubated with the sera (20% volume to volume) and analyzed with Western immunoblot using mouse monoclonal CD3-zeta antibody. Enhanced chemiluminescence and densitometry were used to qualitatively measure zeta expression of the cells. A de novo flow cytometry assay was developed to quantify the difference in CD3-zeta expression of these cells. Comparisons were performed by t test (P<.05 was significant).


Preeclamptic patient sera produced a 2.4-fold increase in CD3-zeta expression than normotensive patients on Western blot (P<.01). Flow cytometry showed that preeclamptic sera had a 1.4-fold higher expression of CD3-zeta compared with normotensive patients (P<.0003).


TcR/CD3-zeta expression is normally suppressed in pregnancy. Loss of this suppression occurs in preeclamptic patients, implying increased T-cell function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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