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J Reprod Immunol. 2011 May;89(2):104-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 May 4.

Epidemiological studies on primipaternity and immunology in preeclampsia--a statement after twelve years of workshops.

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Neonatology, Centre Hospitalier Régional Sud-Réunion, BP 350, 97448 Saint-Pierre cedex, Réunion, France.


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) represent 10% of human births globally and the major complication preeclampsia has a 3-5% prevalence. The etiology of HDP remains uncertain; however, major advances have been made over the last 25 years. The Seventh International Workshop on Reproductive Immunology, Immunological Tolerance and Immunology of Preeclampsia 2010 celebrated its 12th Anniversary in Tioman Island in 2010. Over this period, these seven workshops have contributed extensively to immunological, epidemiological, anthropological, and even vascular debates. The defect of trophoblastic invasion encountered in preeclampsia, intra-uterine growth restriction, and to some extent preterm labor, was understood only at the end of the 1970s. On the other hand, clinical and epidemiological findings at the end of the 20th century permitted us to apprehend that "preeclampsia, the disease of primiparae" may well be a disease of first pregnancy for a couple. Among the important advances, reproductive immunology is certainly the topic where knowledge has exploded in the last decade. This paper relates some major steps in the comprehension of this disease and provides a review of epidemiological studies on the "primipaternity paradigm". It focuses on the relevance of new developments and new concepts in immunology. At the beginning of the 21st century we are possibly closer than ever to understanding the etiology of this obstetrical enigma and also the pathophysiology of global endothelial inflammation in preeclamptic women. In this quest, reproductive immunology will certainly emerge as one of the main players.

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