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Keywords:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • autoantibodies;
  • hyperlypidemia;
  • oxidative stress

Problem

To address the question of whether the high levels of oxidative modified low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL) in pregnancy are opposed by an appropriate humoral autoimmune response providing anti-oxLDL autoantibodies in maternal serum of healthy women throughout gestation.

Method of Study

Blood was taken from 33 patients at four different time points from early to late gestation and post-partum. OxLDL and anti-oxLDL concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. ANOVA was used for statistical evaluations followed by post hoc test with Bonferoni adjustment.

Results

Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein concentrations increased while anti-oxLDL levels decreased significantly from early to late gestation. OxLDL was strongly positively correlated with LDL concentration and mildly negatively associated with anti-oxLDL levels. Estimating the status of oxidation by calculating oxLDL/LDL ratio revealed decreasing values with ongoing pregnancy. Multivariate analysis showed that anti-oxLDL levels were dependent on gestational age but neither on oxLDL levels nor on the oxLDL/LDL ratio.

Conclusions

The results indicate that normal pregnancy is a well-balanced state of oxidative and anti-oxidative processes. However, we could not confirm a dependence of anti-oxLDL autoantibodies on oxLDL concentration. Whether or not the humoral immune system is involved in oxidative defence remains to be elucidated.