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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.


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.

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