Preeclampsia is a severe complication engaging 5–10% of all pregnancies. Immune mechanisms have been suggested in the etiology of this disease.
AIM: To study the systemic spontaneous and fetus-specific cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in women with preeclampsia and normal pregnancies.
METHODS: PBMCs from nine women with preeclampsia and five women with normal pregnancies were stimulated in mixed leukocyte cultures with paternal cells (representing the fetus) and autologous blood lymphocytes. The stimulated and spontaneous production of IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-α were analysed by ELISPOT and IL-12 and IL-13 in cell-culture supernatants by ELISA. Cell-culture supernatants were collected for 2–7 days of incubation.
RESULT: The results are preliminary since analysis of data is going on. We found a trend of decreased IL-10 production in response to paternal cells in preeclamptic women. Data for the other cytokines did not show any differences between groups.
CONCLUSION: The material studied so far is limited and further studies are needed to draw any safe conclusions.