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Maternal Neutrophil Toll-like Receptor mRNA Expression is Down-Regulated in Preeclampsia


Joshua F. Nitsche, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of OB/GYN, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street, Rochester, MN 55901, USA.


Nitsche JF, Jiang S-W, Brost BC. Maternal neutrophil Toll-like receptor mRNA expression is down-regulated in preeclampsia. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 66: 242–248

Problem  There are many immunological changes in preeclampsia. For example, TLR-4 expression is increased in the placenta during preeclampsia. However, data on TLR expression in other tissues during preeclampsia are lacking. This study aimed to determine whether TLR mRNA expression in maternal neutrophils is altered in preeclampsia.

Method of Study  A case–control study using standard quantitative real-time PCR techniques was performed to assess TLR-2 and TLR-4 mRNA expression in 12 patients with mild preeclampsia and 18 normal pregnant controls at similar gestational ages.

Results  Compared to normal pregnant controls, there was a significant decrease in TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression in women with mild preeclampsia.

Conclusion  TLR-2 and TLR-4 expression in maternal neutrophils is decreased in preeclampsia. Given the many immunological changes in preeclampsia, this may represent an adaptation to the increased inflammatory signals present in preeclampsia. Further study is needed to clarify the role of the TLR in preeclampsia.