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Keywords:

  • Endothelial cells;
  • ICAM-1;
  • microparticles;
  • monocytes;
  • preeclampsia

Citation Lok CAR, Snijder KS, Nieuwland R, Van Der Post JAM, de Vos P, Faas MM. Microparticles of pregnant women and preeclamptic patients activate endothelial cells in the presence of monocytes. Am J Reprod Immunol 2012; 67: 206–215

Problem  Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder that may result from an adverse maternal response to circulating placenta-derived factors, causing a systemic inflammation including endothelial activation. Plasma from preeclamptic patients was shown to induce endothelial activation in the presence of monocytes. We investigated whether microparticles (MP) are the plasma factors causing this activation of endothelial cells.

Method of study  Monocultures and co-cultures of monocytes and endothelial cells were incubated with plasma, MP-poor plasma or isolated MP from non-pregnant and pregnant women and preeclamptic patients (each n = 8). ICAM-1 expression was analyzed with flow cytometry.

Results  The expression of ICAM-1 was significantly increased in monocytes and endothelial cells in co-cultures after the addition of isolated MP from preeclamptic patients (P = 0.017) and to a lesser extent in pregnant women (P = 0.012) compared to non-pregnant controls.

Conclusions  Microparticles from preeclamptic patients activate endothelial cells in the presence of monocytes. Whether all MP have the same effect on monocytes and endothelial cells or only a specific subgroup is the focus of future research.