Role of tissue factor in feto-maternal development: a xiphos


Guillermina Girardi, Department of Biology, York College – CUNY, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY, USA.
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Summary.  In this review, the dual role of tissue factor (TF) in pregnancy is described. On the one hand, TF is required for embryonic and placental development in a successful pregnancy, and on the other hand, pathologic expression of TF can lead to serious pregnancy complications in humans and mice. Human studies show increased TF levels in plasma, amniotic fluid and and/or placentas of abnormal pregnancies affected by miscarriages, preterm birth, or pre-eclampsia. Interestingly, using two mouse models, we found that blood-borne TF plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of pregnancy complications. TF on neutrophils and monocytes is a critical mediator in trophoblast injury and embryo damage in pregnancy loss induced by antiphospholipid antibodies and in the antibody-independent CBA/J × DBA/2 model of miscarriages. Blockade of TF or genetic diminution prevented pregnancy complications, suggesting that TF may be a good target for therapy in patients with recurrent miscarriages, pregnancy loss, and pre-eclampsia. In addition, statins, which downregulate TF, may constitute a good therapeutic option for women with pregnancy complications. Clinical trials should be conducted to confirm these observations in women.