Role of Foxp3 Gene in Maternal Susceptibility to Pre-eclampsia – A Study From South India


J. Parveen, Department of Genetics, Osmania University, Hyderabad-07, AP, India. E-mail:


Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a multifactorial pregnancy-specific vascular disorder characterized by hypertension and proteinuria and affects around 3–8% of pregnancies worldwide. Defective placentation during the early stage of pregnancy most likely in combination with maternal and environmental factors could lead to systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and the manifestation of the clinical symptoms. Inadequate number of regulatory T cells (Tregs) or their functional deficiency is linked with infertility, miscarriage and PE. It is well identified that forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) gene is a master control gene for the development and function of Tregs that play an important role in the maintenance of self-tolerance and mediate maternal tolerance to the foetus. The main objective of this study was to assess the maternal susceptibility to PE with respect to a deletion mutation in exon-2 and -3279 C > A polymorphism (rs3761548) in the promoter region within the Foxp3 gene in a total of 282 PE patients and 215 normal pregnant women. The results showed that exon-2 deletion mutation is present in 1.06% of patients and none in the controls, indicating that it was not a common gene polymorphism associated with PE. With respect to rs3761548, the C allele frequency was observed to be higher in patients than in controls (49% versus 27%; OR = 2.81, P < 0.01). In conclusion, our results are suggestive of A allele to be protective against PE and C allele as predisposing in a dose-dependent manner in our population.