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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2010 May;15(3):295-300. doi: 10.1007/s12192-009-0143-8. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Increased circulating heat shock protein 70 levels in pregnant asthmatics.

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Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University, Diós árok 1/c, 1125, Budapest, Hungary.


Asthma is one of the most common diseases complicating pregnancy and represents a risk factor for several maternal and perinatal complications. The natural history of asthma is known to change in pregnancy, but very few data are available in the terms of pathomechanism of this change during gestation. Circulating heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) levels are decreased in healthy pregnancy, which might reflect physiological immunotolerance. The aim of our study was to determine the serum levels of Hsp70 in asthmatic women during gestation. Forty pregnant women with bronchial asthma and 40 healthy pregnant women matched for maternal and gestational age were involved in this case-control study. Serum Hsp70 levels were measured using the ELISA Kit of R&D Systems. Spirometry and oxygen saturation measurements were performed in asthmatic patients. In asthmatic pregnant women, an increase of serum Hsp70 levels was observed compared to healthy pregnant women (median (25-75 percentile): 0.44 ng/ml (0.36-0.53) versus 0.21 ng/ml (0-0.27), p < 0.001). Fetal birth weight of asthmatic mothers was significantly smaller than of healthy controls, but in the normal range (3,230 g (2,690-3,550) versus 3,550 g (3,450-3,775), p < 0.05). A statistically significant negative correlation between maternal age and serum Hsp70 concentrations (Spearman R = -0.48, p = 0.0018) and a significant positive correlation between gestational age and serum Hsp70 levels (Spearman R = 0.83, p < 0.001) were detected in healthy pregnant women. In conclusion, this study proves an elevation of circulating Hsp70 levels during asthmatic pregnancy compared to healthy pregnant women. However, further studies are warranted to determine the role of circulating Hsp70 in the pathogenesis of maternal and perinatal complications of asthma in pregnancy.

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