Spontaneous and Induced Release of Prostaglandins, Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α by Placental Tissue from Normal and Preeclamptic Pregnancies


Department MIDIM, Policlinico, P. zza. G. Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy.


Munno I, Chiechi LM, Lacedra G, Putignano G, Patimo C, Lobascio A, Loizzi P. Spontaneous and induced release of prostaglandins, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α by placental tissue from normal and preeclamptic pregnancies. AJRI 1999; 42:369–374 © Munksgaard, Copenhagen

PROBLEM: The objective of this study was to clarify the role of the main proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α) in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and how these cytokines affect one another and the production of prostaglandins (PGs).

METHOD OF STUDY: The concentrations of cytokines and PGs in supernatants of placental tissue from preeclamptic and normal women were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: The concentrations of the PGs from unstimulated preeclamptic placental tissue were significantly higher compared to the concentrations of PGs from normal unstimulated placental tissue. Significant levels of IL-1β were observed only in the supernatants of preeclamptic placental tissue. Of interest, an increase in TNF-α production was detected in the supernatants of IL-1-stimulated preeclamptic placental tissue.

CONCLUSIONS: The overproduction of TNF-α may be related not only to the effect of a stimulant like IL-1β, but mainly to the lack of mechanisms down-regulating the production of TNF-α.