[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal anti-fetal rejection is a mechanism of disease in spontaneous preterm labor. The objective of this study was to determine whether the presence of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) panel-reactive antibodies (PRA) during the second trimester increases the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery.
This longitudinal case-control study included pregnant women with spontaneous preterm deliveries (n = 310) and control patients with normal term pregnancies (n = 620), matched for maternal age and gravidity. Maternal plasma samples obtained at 14-16, 16-20, 20-24, and 24-28 weeks of gestation were analyzed for HLA class I and class II PRA positivity using flow cytometry. The fetal HLA genotype and maternal HLA alloantibody epitope were determined for a subset of patients with positive HLA PRA.
(i) Patients with spontaneous preterm delivery were more likely to exhibit HLA class I (adjusted OR = 2.54, P < 0.0001) and class II (adjusted OR = 1.98, P = 0.002) PRA positivity than those delivering at term; (ii) HLA class I PRA positivity for patients with spontaneous preterm delivery between 28 and 34 weeks (adjusted OR = 2.88; P = 0.001) and after 34 weeks of gestation (adjusted OR = 2.53; P < 0.0001) was higher than for those delivering at term; (iii) HLA class II PRA positivity for patients with spontaneous preterm delivery after 34 weeks of gestation was higher than for those delivering at term (adjusted OR = 2.04; P = 0.002); (iv) multiparous women were at a higher risk for HLA class I PRA positivity than nulliparous women (adjusted OR = 0.097, P < 0.0001 for nulliparity); (v) nulliparous women had a higher rate of HLA class I PRA positivity with advancing gestational age (P = 0.001); and (vi) 78% of women whose fetuses were genotyped had alloantibodies specific against fetal HLA class I antigens.
Pregnant women with positive HLA class I or class II PRA during the second trimester are at an increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery due to antibody-mediated maternal anti-fetal rejection.
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 08/2013; 70(2):162-175. · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human fetus is able to mount a systemic inflammatory response when exposed to microorganisms. This stereotypic response has been termed the 'fetal inflammatory response syndrome' (FIRS), defined as an elevation of fetal plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6). FIRS is frequently observed in patients whose preterm deliveries are associated with intra-amniotic infection, acute inflammatory lesions of the placenta, and a high rate of neonatal morbidity. Recently, a novel form of fetal systemic inflammation, characterized by an elevation of fetal plasma CXCL10, has been identified in patients with placental lesions consistent with 'maternal anti-fetal rejection'. These lesions include chronic chorioamnionitis, plasma cell deciduitis, and villitis of unknown etiology. In addition, positivity for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) panel-reactive antibodies (PRA) in maternal sera can also be used to increase the index of suspicion for maternal anti-fetal rejection. The purpose of this study was to determine (i) the frequency of pathologic lesions consistent with maternal anti-fetal rejection in term and spontaneous preterm births; (ii) the fetal serum concentration of CXCL10 in patients with and without evidence of maternal anti-fetal rejection; and (iii) the fetal blood transcriptome and proteome in cases with a fetal inflammatory response associated with maternal anti-fetal rejection.
Maternal and fetal sera were obtained from normal term (n = 150) and spontaneous preterm births (n = 150). A fetal inflammatory response associated with maternal anti-fetal rejection was diagnosed when the patients met two or more of the following criteria: (i) presence of chronic placental inflammation; (ii) ≥80% of maternal HLA class I PRA positivity; and (iii) fetal serum CXCL10 concentration >75th percentile. Maternal HLA PRA was analyzed by flow cytometry. The concentrations of fetal CXCL10 and IL-6 were determined by ELISA. Transcriptome analysis was undertaken after the extraction of total RNA from white blood cells with a whole-genome DASL assay. Proteomic analysis of fetal serum was conducted by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis. Differential gene expression was considered significant when there was a P < 0.01 and a fold-change >1.5.
(i) The frequency of placental lesions consistent with maternal anti-fetal rejection was higher in patients with preterm deliveries than in those with term deliveries (56% versus 32%; P < 0.001); (ii) patients with spontaneous preterm births had a higher rate of maternal HLA PRA class I positivity than those who delivered at term (50% versus 32%; P = 0.002); (iii) fetuses born to mothers with positive maternal HLA PRA results had a higher median serum CXCL10 concentration than those with negative HLA PRA results (P < 0.001); (iv) the median serum CXCL10 concentration (but not IL-6) was higher in fetuses with placental lesions associated with maternal anti-fetal rejection than those without such lesions (P < 0.001); (v) a whole-genome DASL assay of fetal blood RNA demonstrated differential expression of 128 genes between fetuses with and without lesions associated with maternal anti-fetal rejection; and (vi) comparison of the fetal serum proteome demonstrated 20 proteins whose abundance differed between fetuses with and without lesions associated with maternal anti-fetal rejection.
We describe a systemic inflammatory response in human fetuses born to mothers with evidence of maternal anti-fetal rejection. The transcriptome and proteome of this novel type of fetal inflammatory response were different from that of FIRS type I (which is associated with acute infection/inflammation).
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 07/2013; · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia is characterized by maternal systemic anti-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory states. Syndecan-1 is a cell surface proteoglycan expressed by the syncytiotrophoblast, which plays an important role in angiogenesis and resolution of inflammation. Our aim was to examine placental syndecan-1 expression in preeclampsia with or without hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome. Placentas were obtained from women in the following groups: (1) late-onset preeclampsia (n = 8); (2) early-onset preeclampsia without (n = 7) and (3) with HELLP syndrome (n = 8); (4) preterm controls (n = 5); and (5) term controls (n = 9). Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed from paraffin-embedded placentas. TMA slides were immunostained for syndecan-1 and evaluated using microscopy, virtual microscopy, and semi-automated image analysis. Maternal sera from patients with preeclampsia (n = 49) and controls (n = 32) were immunoassayed for syndecan-1. BeWo cells were treated with Forskolin or Latrunculin B or kept in ischemic conditions. SDC1 expression and syndecan-1 production were investigated with qRT-PCR, confocal microscopy, and immunoassays. Syndecan-1 was localized to the syncytiotrophoblast apical membrane in normal placentas. Syndecan-1 immunoscores were higher in late-onset preeclampsia (p = 0.0001) and early-onset preeclampsia with or without HELLP syndrome (p = 0.02 for both) than in controls. Maternal serum syndecan-1 concentration was lower in preeclampsia (median, 673 ng/ml; interquartile range, 459-1,161 ng/ml) than in controls (1,158 ng/ml; 622-1,480 ng/ml). SDC1 expression and syndecan-1 immunostainings in BeWo cells and syndecan-1 concentrations in supernatants increased during cell differentiation. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton with Latrunculin B decreased syndecan-1 release, while ischemic conditions increased it. Syncytiotrophoblastic syndecan-1 expression depends on the differentiation of villous trophoblasts, and trophoblastic syndecan-1 release is decreased in preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. This phenomenon may be related to the disturbed syncytiotrophoblastic cortical actin cytoskeleton and associated with maternal anti-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory states in these syndromes.
Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 06/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Cross-talk between inflammation and angiogenesis pathways has been recently reported. The objectives of this study were to: (i) examine whether amniotic fluid (AF) concentrations of soluble endoglin (sEng), a protein with anti-angiogenic properties, change during pregnancy, parturition, or intra-amniotic infection and/or inflammation (IAI); (ii) determine whether an increase in sEng in the AF of patients with preterm labor (PTL) and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) is associated with adverse neonatal outcomes; and (iii) investigate potential sources of sEng in AF. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted to include patients in the following groups: (i) mid-trimester (n = 20); (ii) PTL with term delivery (n = 95); (iii) PTL leading to preterm delivery with (n = 40) and without IAI (n = 46); (iv) preterm PROM with (n = 37) and without IAI (n = 37); (v) term in labor (n = 48) and not in labor (n = 44). AF concentrations of sEng were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Chorioamniotic membranes, umbilical cord blood, and AF macrophages were examined for the expression of endoglin. RESULTS: (i) Patients with IAI had a higher median AF concentration of sEng than those without IAI (P = 0.02 for PTL and 0.06 for preterm PROM); (ii) AF concentrations of sEng in the 3rd and 4th quartiles were associated with IAI (OR 2.5 and 7.9, respectively); (iii) an AF sEng concentration ≥779.5 pg/mL was associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) (OR 7.9); (iv) endoglin was co-localized with CD14+ macrophages in AF pellets of patients with IAI by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry; and (v) the concentration of sEng in the supernatant was significantly increased after the treatment of macrophages with endotoxin or TNF-α. CONCLUSIONS: Soluble endoglin participates in the host response against IAI. Activated macrophages may be a source of sEng concentrations in the AF of patients with IAI. An increase of sEng in the AF is associated with BPD and adverse neonatal outcomes.
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 12/2012; · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic chorioamnionitis is a histological manifestation of maternal anti-fetal cellular rejection. As failure of graft survival is the most catastrophic event in organ transplantation, we hypothesized that fetal death could be a consequence of maternal rejection. The aim of this study was to assess whether there is evidence of cellular and antibody-mediated rejection in fetal death.
Placental histology was reviewed for the presence of chronic chorioamnionitis in unexplained preterm fetal death (n=30) and preterm live birth (n=103). Amniotic fluid CXCL10 concentrations were measured with a specific immunoassay. Chronic chorioamnionitis was more frequent in fetal death than in live birth (60.0% versus 37.9%; P<0.05) and fetal death had a higher median amniotic fluid CXCL10 concentration than live birth (2.0 versus 1.8 ng/ml, P<0.05), after adjusting for gestational age at amniocentesis. Maternal anti-human leucocyte antigen class II panel-reactive seropositivity determined by flow cytometry was higher in fetal death compared to live birth (35.7% versus 10.9%; P<0.05).
Chronic chorioamnionitis is a common pathologic feature in unexplained preterm fetal death. This novel finding suggests that cellular and antibody-mediated anti-fetal rejection of the mother is associated with fetal death (graft failure) in human pregnancy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preterm parturition is a syndrome caused by multiple etiologies. Although intra-amniotic infection is causally linked with intrauterine inflammation and the onset of preterm labor, other patients have preterm labor in the absence of demonstrable infection. It is now clear that inflammation may be elicited by activation of the Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs), which include pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) as well as "alarmins" (endogenous molecules that signal tissue and cellular damage). A prototypic alarmin is high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, capable of inducing inflammation and tissue repair when it reaches the extracellular environment. HMGB1 is a late mediator of sepsis, and blockade of HMGB1 activity reduces mortality in an animal model of endotoxemia, even if administered late during the course of the disorder. The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine whether intra-amniotic infection/inflammation (IAI) is associated with changes in amniotic fluid concentrations of HMGB1; and (2) localize immunoreactivity of HMGB1 in the fetal membranes and umbilical cord of patients with chorioamnionitis.
Amniotic fluid samples were collected from the following groups: (1) preterm labor with intact membranes (PTL) with (n=42) and without IAI (n=84); and (2) preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) with (n=38) and without IAI (n=35). IAI was defined as either a positive amniotic fluid culture or amniotic fluid concentration of interleukin-6 (IL-6) ≥ 2.6ng/mL. HMGB1 concentrations in amniotic fluid were determined by ELISA. Immunofluorescence staining for HMGB1 was performed in the fetal membranes and umbilical cord of pregnancies with acute chorioamnionitis.
(1) Amniotic fluid HMGB1 concentrations were higher in patients with IAI than in those without IAI in both the PTL and preterm PROM groups (PTL IAI: median 3.1 ng/mL vs. without IAI; median 0.98 ng/mL; p <0.001; and preterm PROM with IAI median 7.3 ng/mL vs. without IAI median 2.6 ng/mL; p=0.002); (2) patients with preterm PROM without IAI had a higher median amniotic fluid HMGB1 concentration than those with PTL and intact membranes without IAI (p <0.001); and (3) HMGB1 was immunolocalized to amnion epithelial cells and stromal cells in the Wharton's jelly (prominent in the nuclei and cytoplasm). Myofibroblasts and macrophages of the chorioamniotic connective tissue layer and infiltrating neutrophils showed diffuse cytoplasmic HMGB1 immunoreactivity.
(1) intra-amniotic infection/inflammation is associated with elevated amniotic fluid HMGB1 concentrations regardless of membrane status; (2) preterm PROM was associated with a higher amniotic fluid HMGB1 concentration than PTL with intact membranes, suggesting that rupture of membranes is associated with an elevation of alarmins; (3) immunoreactive HMGB1 was localized to amnion epithelial cells, Wharton's jelly and cells involved in the innate immune response; and (4) we propose that HMGB1 released from stress or injured cells into amniotic fluid may be responsible, in part, for intra-amniotic inflammation due to non-microbial insults.
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 09/2011; 24(12):1444-55. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Placental Protein 13 (PP13), an early biomarker of preeclampsia, is a placenta-specific galectin that binds beta-galactosides, building-blocks of ABO blood-group antigens, possibly affecting its bioavailability in blood.
We studied PP13-binding to erythrocytes, maternal blood-group effect on serum PP13 and its performance as a predictor of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Datasets of maternal serum PP13 in Caucasian (n = 1078) and Hispanic (n = 242) women were analyzed according to blood groups. In vivo, in vitro and in silico PP13-binding to ABO blood-group antigens and erythrocytes were studied by PP13-immunostainings of placental tissue-microarrays, flow-cytometry of erythrocyte-bound PP13, and model-building of PP13--blood-group H antigen complex, respectively. Women with blood group AB had the lowest serum PP13 in the first trimester, while those with blood group B had the highest PP13 throughout pregnancy. In accordance, PP13-binding was the strongest to blood-group AB erythrocytes and weakest to blood-group B erythrocytes. PP13-staining of maternal and fetal erythrocytes was revealed, and a plausible molecular model of PP13 complexed with blood-group H antigen was built. Adjustment of PP13 MoMs to maternal ABO blood group improved the prediction accuracy of first trimester maternal serum PP13 MoMs for preeclampsia and IUGR.
ABO blood group can alter PP13-bioavailability in blood, and it may also be a key determinant for other lectins' bioavailability in the circulation. The adjustment of PP13 MoMs to ABO blood group improves the predictive accuracy of this test.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e21564. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: to characterize the transcriptome of human myometrium during spontaneous labor at term.
myometrium was obtained from women with (n=19) and without labor (n=20). Illumina HumanHT-12 microarrays were utilized. Moderated t-tests and false discovery rate adjustment of P-values were applied. Real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed for a select set of differentially expressed genes in a separate set of samples. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot were utilized to confirm differential protein production in a third sample set.
1) Four hundred and seventy-one genes were differentially expressed; 2) gene ontology analysis indicated enrichment of 103 biological processes and 18 molecular functions including: a) inflammatory response; b) cytokine activity; and c) chemokine activity; 3) systems biology pathway analysis using signaling pathway impact analysis indicated six significant pathways: a) cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction; b) Jak-STAT signaling; and c) complement and coagulation cascades; d) NOD-like receptor signaling pathway; e) systemic lupus erythematosus; and f) chemokine signaling pathway; 4) qRT-PCR confirmed over-expression of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase-2, heparin binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factor, chemokine C-C motif ligand 2 (CCL2/MCP1), leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor, subfamily A member 5, interleukin (IL)-8, IL-6, chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 6 (CXCL6/GCP2), nuclear factor of kappa light chain gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor zeta, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) and decreased expression of FK506 binding-protein 5 and aldehyde dehydrogenase in labor; 5) IL-6, CXCL6, CCL2 and SOCS3 protein expression was significantly higher in the term labor group compared to the term not in labor group.
myometrium of women in spontaneous labor at term is characterized by a stereotypic gene expression pattern consistent with over-expression of the inflammatory response and leukocyte chemotaxis. Differential gene expression identified with microarray was confirmed with qRT-PCR using an independent set of samples. This study represents an unbiased description of the biological processes involved in spontaneous labor at term based on transcriptomics.
Journal of Perinatal Medicine 11/2010; 38(6):617-43. · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that metabolism influences immune cell signaling and immunoregulation. To examine the immunoregulatory role of glycolysis in pregnancy, we evaluated the properties of pyruvate kinase in leukocytes from non-pregnant women and those with normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia.
We evaluated pyruvate kinase expression in lymphocytes and neutrophils from non-pregnant, pregnant, and pre-eclampsia patients using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Leukocyte pyruvate kinase activity and pyruvate concentrations were also evaluated. To study pyruvate's effect on signaling, we labeled Jurkat T cells with Ca(2+) dyes and measured cell responses in the presence of agents influencing intracellular pyruvate.
The expression of pyruvate kinase is reduced in lymphocytes and neutrophils from normal pregnant women in comparison with those of non-pregnant women and pre-eclampsia patients. Similarly, the activity of pyruvate kinase and the intracellular pyruvate concentration are reduced in leukocytes of normal pregnant women in comparison with non-pregnant women and women with pre-eclampsia. Using Jurkat cells as a model of leukocyte signaling, we have shown that perturbations of intracellular pyruvate influence Ca(2+) signals.
Normal pregnancy is characterized by reduced pyruvate kinase expression within lymphocytes and neutrophils. We speculate that reduced pyruvate kinase expression modifies immune cell responses due to reduced pyruvate concentrations.
American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 08/2010; 64(2):137-51. · 3.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectins are proteins that regulate immune responses through the recognition of cell-surface glycans. We present evidence that 16 human galectin genes are expressed at the maternal-fetal interface and demonstrate that a cluster of 5 galectin genes on human chromosome 19 emerged during primate evolution as a result of duplication and rearrangement of genes and pseudogenes via a birth and death process primarily mediated by transposable long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs). Genes in the cluster are found only in anthropoids, a group of primate species that differ from their strepsirrhine counterparts by having relatively large brains and long gestations. Three of the human cluster genes (LGALS13, -14, and -16) were found to be placenta-specific. Homology modeling revealed conserved three-dimensional structures of galectins in the human cluster; however, analyses of 24 newly derived and 69 publicly available sequences in 10 anthropoid species indicate functional diversification by evidence of positive selection and amino acid replacements in carbohydrate-recognition domains. Moreover, we demonstrate altered sugar-binding capacities of 6 recombinant galectins in the cluster. We show that human placenta-specific galectins are predominantly expressed by the syncytiotrophoblast, a primary site of metabolic exchange where, early during pregnancy, the fetus comes in contact with immune cells circulating in maternal blood. Because ex vivo functional assays demonstrate that placenta-specific galectins induce the apoptosis of T lymphocytes, we propose that these galectins reduce the danger of maternal immune attacks on the fetal semiallograft, presumably conferring additional immune tolerance mechanisms and in turn sustaining hemochorial placentation during the long gestation of anthropoid primates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(24):9731-6. · 9.74 Impact Factor