ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Imbalance of T-cell Transcription Factors Contributes to the Th1 Type Immunity Predominant in Pre-eclampsia


Hu Yali, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 321 Zhongshan Rd, Nanjing 210008, China.
E-mail: yali_hu@hotmail.com


Problem  Extensive studies have demonstrated that Th1 type immunity is predominant in pre-eclampsia, but there is little concern with regard to the intracellular mechanisms behind this initial T-cell polarization. In this study, we investigated whether the imbalance of the T-cell transcription factors contributes to it.

Method of study  A total of 15 pre-eclamptic patients and 15 healthy pregnant women were enrolled in this study. The expression levels of transcription factors for Th1 (T-bet), Th2 (GATA3), Th17 (RORc) and Treg (FOXP3) cells, together with the Th1/Th2 status, were simultaneously investigated in both peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and decidua.

Results  The expression levels of FOXP3 mRNA were decreased in both PBMCs and decidua from pre-eclamptic patients compared with healthy pregnant women (P < 0.05), and T-bet mRNA and RORc mRNA were significantly increased (P < 0.05), while Th1/Th2 balance shifted toward the Th1 immunity. Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between FOXP3 mRNA and Th1 cells (P < 0.05), and the expression level of T-bet mRNA correlated strongly with Th1 cells (P < 0.05).

Conclusion  Decreased expression of FOXP3 mRNA and increased expression of T-bet mRNA may contribute to Th1 type immunity predominant in pre-eclampsia.