Circulating Cytokines and Alarmins Associated with Placental Inflammation in High-Risk Pregnancies

Authors

  • Sylvie Girard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Institute of Human Development, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
    3. Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Universite de Montreal, Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada
    • Correspondence

      Sylvie Girard, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Montreal, Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, Montreal, QC, Canada.

      E-mail: sylvie.girard@recherche-ste-justine.qc.ca

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  • Alexander E. P. Heazell,

    1. Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Institute of Human Development, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
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  • Hayley Derricott,

    1. Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Institute of Human Development, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
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  • Stuart M. Allan,

    1. Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
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  • Colin P. Sibley,

    1. Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Institute of Human Development, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
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  • Vikki M. Abrahams,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
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  • Rebecca L. Jones

    1. Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Institute of Human Development, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
    2. Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
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  • The copyright line for this article was changed on 29th April 2016 after original online publication.

Abstract

Problem

Inflammation during pregnancy has devastating consequences for the placenta and fetus. These events are incompletely understood, thereby hampering screening and treatment.

Method of study

The inflammatory profile of villous tissue was studied in pregnancies at high-risk of placental dysfunction and compared to uncomplicated pregnancies. The systemic inflammatory profile was assessed in matched maternal serum samples in cases of reduced fetal movements (RFM).

Results

Placentas from RFM pregnancies had a unique inflammatory profile characterized by increased interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist and decreased IL-10 expression, concomitant with increased numbers of placental macrophages. This aberrant cytokine profile was evident in maternal serum in RFM, as were increased levels of alarmins (uric acid, HMGB1, cell-free fetal DNA).

Conclusion

This distinct inflammatory profile at the maternal-fetal interface, mirrored in maternal serum, could represent biomarkers of placental inflammation and could offer novel therapeutic options to protect the placenta and fetus from an adverse maternal environment.

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