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Eur J Immunol. 2006 Jun;36(6):1619-28.

Myeloperoxidase accumulates at the neutrophil surface and enhances cell metabolism and oxidant release during pregnancy.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, 48105, USA.


Pregnancy is a unique immunological state. Pregnancy neutrophils differ from those of non-pregnant women as they cannot be fully activated for oxidant production, but yet have higher levels of unstimulated oxidant production. Although reduced activation is due to decreased hexose monophosphate shunt activity, the mechanism enhancing basal oxidant levels is unknown. We hypothesize that myeloperoxidase (MPO) trafficking affects the basal oxidant release by maternal neutrophils. Immunofluorescence microscopy has demonstrated MPO at the surface of pregnancy neutrophils, whereas non-pregnancy cells do not exhibit surface MPO. Adherent pregnancy neutrophils were characterized by high-amplitude metabolic oscillations, which were blocked by MPO inactivation. Conversely, metabolic oscillatory amplitudes of control neutrophils were heightened by incubation with PMA or exogenous MPO. Importantly, MPO decoration of cell surfaces and high-amplitude metabolic oscillations were observed for neutrophils from pregnant but not from non-pregnant mice. However, cells from pregnant MPO knockout mice did not exhibit MPO expression or high-amplitude metabolic oscillations. Unstimulated neutrophils from pregnant women were found to release reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) and reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI), but cells from non-pregnant women did not. MPO inhibition returned ROM and RNI formation to non-pregnant levels. Hence, MPO trafficking influences metabolic activity and oxidant production in pregnancy.

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