Soluble adhesion molecule profile in normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia

Chaiworapongsa, T., Romero, R., Yoshimatsu, J., Espinoza, J., Kim, Y.M., Park, K., Kalache, K.D., Edwin, S., Bujold, E. and Gomez, R. (2002) Soluble adhesion molecule profile in normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 12, (1), 19-27.


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Objective: An exaggerated inflammatory response has been implicated as the cause of endothelial cell dysfunction and the maternal syndrome of pre-eclampsia. Adhesion molecules play a central role in the adherence of leukocytes to endothelial cells and the subsequent migration of white blood cells into perivascular tissue. Cellular forms of adhesion molecules mediate specific steps of leukocyte-endothelial cell interaction, and have been implicated in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia. Soluble forms of these molecules can be detected in plasma, and their concentrations are thought to reflect the degree of activation of a particular cell type. Elevations in soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) reflect platelet activation; changes in soluble L-selectin (sL-selectin) suggest leukocyte activation; and an increase in soluble forms of E-selectin (sE-selectin), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1) and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (sPECAM-1) indicate endothelial cell activation/dysfunction. The objective of this study was to determine whether normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia were associated with changes in the concentrations of soluble selectins and members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of adhesion molecules.

Study design: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the plasma concentrations of sL-selectin, sE-selectin, sP-selectin, sVCAM-1, sICAM-1 and sPECAM-1 in peripheral blood obtained from non-pregnant women (n = 20), normal pregnant women (n = 100) and patients with pre-eclampsia (n = 55). Concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules were determined with enzyme-linked immunoassays. Parametric statistics were used for data analysis.

Results: Normal pregnancy was associated with a significant increase in the maternal plasma concentration of sP-selectin, a decrease in sL-selectin, and no change in sE-selectin, sVCAM-1, sICAM-1 and sPECAM-1. In contrast, pre-eclampsia was associated with a significant increase in sP-selectin, sE-selectin and sVCAM-1, a decrease in sL-selectin, but no change in sICAM-1 and sPECAM-1 concentrations.

Conclusions: The increased concentration of sP-selectin and decreased sL-selectin, as well as the lack of change in endothelial cell-associated soluble adhesion molecules suggest that pregnancy is associated with platelet and leukocyte activation, but not endothelial cell activation. In contrast, pre-eclampsia appears to be characterized by activation of platelets, leukocytes and endothelial cells.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1476-7058 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: adhesion molecules, normal pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, selectins, endothelium, leukocytes, platelets
Subjects: R Medicine > RB Pathology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
ePrint ID: 25354
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:47

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