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Thromb Haemost. 2005 Dec;94(6):1219-23.

Chorioamnionitis is associated with increased CD40L expression on cord blood platelets.

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Institute of Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Central Laboratory, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Chorioamnionitis (CA) is a severe infection responsible not only for premature birth but also for many severe neonatal diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of CD40L and P-selectin on platelets and the plasma levels of their soluble forms in the umbilical cord blood in infants with documented chorioamnionitis. Umbilical cord blood samples were obtained from 10 healthy term newborns, 10 non-infected preterm infants, 10 preterm infants with premature rupture of membranes and 9 preterm infants with clinical and histological CA. The expression of CD40L and P-selectin on platelets was analyzed by flow cytometry. Soluble P-selectin (sCD62P), soluble CD40L (sCD40L) and interleukine-6 (IL-6) were measured in plasma by ELISA assays. Neonates with CA had significantly higher percentages of platelets expressing CD40L in basal conditions (5.3 +/- 2.9% vs. 1.6 +/- 0.7% and in non-infected preterm infants p < 0.05), while the percentages of P-selectin positive platelets were similar among all groups. In contrast, the level of sP-selectin was higher in infants with CA (222 +/- 128 ng/ml vs. 104 +/- 71 ng/ml in non-infected preterm infants, p < 0.05) but no differences were found in the levels of sCD40L. As expected, the levels of IL-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine were significantly higher in samples obtained from preterm neonates whose mothers had also elevated inflammatory parameters. Our observations suggest that platelets are involved in the complex inflammatory pathogenesis of CA. Neither P-selectin expression on cord blood platelets nor plasma sP-selectin or sCD40L were suitable platelet markers in CA, whereas CD40L was significantly elevated in histologically proven CA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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