Microparticles and immunomodulation in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia

University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
Journal of Reproductive Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 12/2007; 76(1-2):61-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jri.2007.03.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cellular microparticles are ubiquitously shed from cell membranes or secreted as endocytic vesicles called exosomes. Shed microparticles are >/=100nm in size and are generated during apoptosis or necrosis. In contrast, exosomes are smaller (<100nm), express more limited protein content and are released from late endosomes. Both membrane particles and exosomes can be detected in the circulation in non-pregnant and pregnant women. In the former, they are increased in conditions associated with systemic inflammation such as sepsis or metabolic syndrome. During pregnancy, they are also associated with pre-eclampsia and include not only particles derived from platelets, endothelium and various leukocytes but also syncytiotrophoblast-derived microparticles. Syncytiotrophoblast membrane microparticles (often called STBMs) interact with both immune and endothelial cells. They may contribute to the systemic inflammatory response of both normal and pre-eclamptic pregnancies, although inhibitory activity has also been described. Moreover, trophoblast-derived exosomes may contribute to or cause the downregulation of T cell activity that has been repeatedly observed during pregnancy. Deletion of activate T cells which express Fas ligand by Fas-expressing exosomes derived from trophoblast may contribute to immunoregulation necessary for normal pregnancy.

  • Source
    Cell Biochemistry and Function 01/2010; · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study identifies a previously unknown immunological function of exosomes present in fetal bovine serum (FBS). Exosomes are small (40-100 nm), biologically active nanoparticles released from cells that associate with a variety of proteins and miRNA. Exosomes are present in nearly all biological fluids, including FBS, a common supplement to cell culture media. While there are a growing number of studies examining cellular responses to exosomes, there is no assessment of how FBS exosomes impact cellular responses to immunological challenges. Our results demonstrate that primary macrophages from Fisher 344 rats cultured with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the presence of FBS exosomes exhibit a dose-dependent reduction in IL-1β compared to macrophages cultured in medium supplemented with exosome-depleted FBS. The addition of fetal bovine exosomes also reduced macrophage tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and IL-6, but not IL-10, monocyte chemotactic factor-1 (MCP-1), nitric oxide (NO), or lactose dehydrogenase (LDH) response to LPS. The selectivity of exosomal impact on macrophage IL-1β and pro-inflammatory protein responses may implicate the potential role of exosome-inflammasome interactions. These findings suggest that researchers should consider the immunological influence of FBS exosomes, particularly on IL-1β activity, when studying cells in culture.
    Immunology Letters 10/2014; 163(2). DOI:10.1016/j.imlet.2014.10.019 · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent 8% of the total human genome. Although the majority of these ancient proviral sequences have only retained non-coding long terminal repeats (LTRs), a number of "endogenized" retroviral genes encode functional proteins. Previous studies have underlined the implication of these ERV-derived proteins in the development and the function of the placenta. In this review, we summarize recent findings showing that two ERV genes, termed Syncytin-1 and Syncytin-2, which encode former envelope (Env) proteins, trigger fusion events between villous cytotrophoblasts and the peripheral multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast layer. Such fusion events maintain the stability of this latter cell structure, which plays an important role in fetal development by the active secretion of various soluble factors, gas exchange and regulation of fetomaternal immunotolerance. We also highlight new studies showing that these ERV proteins, in addition to their localization at the cell surface of cytotrophoblasts, are also incorporated on the surface of various extracellular microvesicles, including exosomes. Such exosome-associated proteins could be involved in the various functions attributed to these vesicles and could provide a form of tropism. Additionally, through their immunosuppressive domains, these ERV proteins could also contribute to fetomaternal immunotolerance in a local and more distal manner. These various aspects of the implication of Syncytin-1 and -2 in placental function are also addressed in the context of the placenta-related disorder, preeclampsia.
    Viruses 11/2014; 6(11):4609-27. DOI:10.3390/v6114609 · 3.28 Impact Factor