Tumor necrosis factor-α is elevated in plasma and amniotic fluid of patients with severe preeclampsia

M. J. Kupferminc, A. M. Peaceman, T. R. Wigton, K. A. Rehnberg, M. L. Socol

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249 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to investigate whether markers for activation of the immune system are present in patients with preeclampsia by assessing maternal plasma and amniotic fluid for tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β. STUDY DESIGN: Twenty-one patients with severe preeclampsia composed the study group (group A). An antepartum comparison group was composed of healthy nulliparous patients not in labor and matched for gestational age (group B). Another control group consisted of term nulliparous patients in labor with uneventful pregnancies (group C). Maternal plasma samples were collected from all patients at recruitment and from patients in groups A and C immediately after delivery and again 20 to 24 hours post partum. Amniotic fluid was also collected from patients in groups A and C during labor. All samples were collectively assayed for tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β by specific enzyme-linked immunoassays. RESULTS: Before labor tumor necrosis factor-α was detected more frequently in the plasma of preeclamptic patients than in the plasma of patients in group B (12/16 vs 5/16, p < 0.05) and in higher concentrations (median 35 pg/ml vs median 0 pg/ml, p < 0.05). Although tumor necrosis factor-a was frequently detected in the plasma of patients in group C in early labor (16/20), concentrations were higher in the four preeclamptic patients first sampled in early labor (210 pg/ml vs 65 pg/ml, p < 0.05). Similarly, amniotic fluid levels of tumor necrosis factor-a were increased in preeclamptic patients compared with control patients. At delivery tumor necrosis factor-α was more likely to be identified in the plasma of preeclamptic patients and was found in higher concentrations, but by 20 to 24 hours post partum measurements in the preeclamptic and control patients were similar. There were no differences in the frequency with which interleukin-1β was detected or the concentration of interleukin-1β in any of the samples. CONCLUSIONS: Tumor necrosis factor-α is increased in the plasma and amniotic fluid of patients with severe preeclampsia. These data are suggestive of a role for abnormal immune activation in the pathophysiologic mechanisms of preeclampsia. (AM J Obstet Gynecol 1994;170:1752-9.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1752-1759
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume170
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Keywords

  • cytokine
  • interleukin-1β
  • Preeclampsia
  • tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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