Send to

Choose Destination
Immunology. 2017 Sep;152(1):163-173. doi: 10.1111/imm.12757. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Association between cytokine profile and transcription factors produced by T-cell subsets in early- and late-onset pre-eclampsia.

Author information

Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Medical School, Botucatu Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Pre-eclampsia (PE) is an obstetric pathology characterized by abnormal activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems dependent on the imbalance of T helper subsets. The present study aimed to evaluate the gene and protein expression of T helper type 1 (Th1)/Th2/Th17/regulatory T (Treg) cell transcription factors in peripheral blood lymphocytes from pregnant women with PE employing quantitative RT-PCR and flow cytometry techniques, as well as the cytokine profile produced by these CD4+ T-cell subsets in the plasma of pregnant women with PE, classified as early-onset PE (n = 20), late-onset PE (n = 20) and normotensive pregnant women (n = 20). Results showed a higher percentage of CD4+ T cells expressing the RORc transcription factor (Th17) and a lower percentage of cells expressing FoxP3 (Treg) in women with early-onset PE compared with late-onset PE and normotensive groups. A lower gene expression of GATA-3 transcription factor was detected in cells of women with early-onset PE compared with the late-onset PE group. Endogenous plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-17 and tumour necrosis factor-α were significantly higher in the early-onset PE group than in the late-onset PE and normotensive groups, whereas IL-4 (Th2 profile) and IL-22 (Th17 profile), were not significantly different between the studied groups. The endogenous levels of transforming growth factor-β and IL-10 were significantly lower in the pre-eclamptic than in the normotensive groups of the same gestational age, with a significant difference between early- and late-onset PE. The results show that in women with PE there is an imbalance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory profiles in CD4+ T-cell subsets, with polarization to Th17 profiles in the early-onset PE, considered as the severe form of PE.


T cells; cytokines; regulatory T cells; reproductive immunology; transcription factors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Secondary source ID

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center