The programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) receptor has been reported to downregulate T cell activation effectively via binding to its ligands PD-L1 or PD-L2 in a negative co-stimulatory manner. Little is known about the involvement of PD-1 mediated immunoregulation in pregnancy and in pregnancy-related disorders. In this work, we investigated the possible role of the PD-1 co-stimulatory pathway in the pathogenesis of the clinical phase of early-onset preeclampsia characterized by a systemic maternal inflammatory response. We performed a cross-sectional study for comparative analysis of phenotypic and functional characteristics of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in women with early-onset preeclampsia and third-trimester healthy pregnant controls. According to our findings, enhanced expression of either PD-1 or its ligand PD-L1, or both, on the cell surface of effector cells (T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, natural killer T (NKT)-like cells) and Tregs could be observed, but PD-1 expression did not correlate with effector cells exhaustion. These results suggest the failure of the axis to downregulate Th1 responses, contributing thereby to the exaggerated immunoactivation observed in early-onset preeclampsia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry