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Keywords:

  • Complement;
  • immune complex;
  • inflammation;
  • preeclampsia;
  • pregnancy

Problem

Erythrocyte complement receptor type 1 (E-CR1) is the main immune complex clearance mechanism in humans. Decreased E-CR1 expression is noted in certain inflammatory disorders. Recent evidence implicates inflammation in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. We investigated whether E-CR1 is decreased in preeclampsia.

Method of study

E-CR1 protein expression was quantified by radioimmunoassay. Plasma concentration of soluble CR1 was quantified using a specific enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Quantitative genotypes were evaluated by HindIII restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

Results

E-CR1 expression was reduced in patients with preeclampsia. Lack of neoantigen expression (indicative of enzymatic cleavage of CR1) or elevated plasma-soluble CR1 was evidence against an acquired loss of E-CR1. Genotype analysis revealed a higher frequency of a CR1 allele associated with low E-CR1 expression in preeclampsia when compared with normal pregnant controls.

Conclusions

E-CR1 expression is decreased in preeclamptic patients and levels correlate with severity of disease. This condition may have a genetic basis in some patients.