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Immunology. 1998 Feb;93(2):264-9.

Inflammatory reactions in placental blood of Plasmodium falciparum-infected women and high concentrations of soluble E-selectin and a circulating P. falciparum protein in the cord sera.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.


To better understand reasons for increased susceptibility to malaria in pregnancy; and the interrelationships between maternal malaria, local immune reactions and the development of the fetus, concentrations of soluble interleukin-10 (IL-10), cytokine receptors, adhesion molecules, a Plasmodium falciparum protein, glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) and antibodies to P. falciparum rhoptry-associated protein-1 were measured among 105 Gambian women and their neonates. Peripheral blood concentrations of IL-10, soluble cytokine receptors and soluble adhesion molecules were found to be different from those concentrations measured in the placenta. Markers of inflammatory reactions: IL-10, sIL-2R, sIL-4R, and soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor I (sTNF-RI) were found in high concentrations in the placenta, indicating that inflammatory reactions take place in the placenta which has been regarded as an immunoprivileged site. Concentrations of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) and soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), potential adhesion receptors for malaria parasites, were associated with an active P. falciparum infection in the placenta although the associations did not reach significance. P. falciparum exoantigen, GLURP, was detected in cord blood indicating transplacental passage of malarial antigens. Concentrations of E-selectin were higher in cord blood samples compared with peripheral blood samples. This appeared to be associated with development of cord endothelial cells and not with P. falciparum infection.

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