Lymphocyte profiles and serum antibodies against neurofilaments in preeclamptic Kuwaiti women

Fadia Mahmoud, David Haines, Alexander Omu, Rana Al-Awadhi, Mohammad B. Abu-Donia


Objective. It is hypothesized that the pathogenesis of (PE)is accompanied by alterations in immunoregulation that mayaffect normal turnover of peripheral neurons and release ofcytoskeletal components (principally neurofilaments). Sincethis is expected to alter serum levels of antibodies to neurofilamentepitopes, the possibility exists to utilize this parameteras a biomarker for severity of the disorder. Patientsand methods. Peripheral blood of 23 pregnant women inthe third trimester; 13 with PE, 10 healthy pregnant womenand 10 non-pregnant controls were evaluated by flow cytometryfor major lymphocyte populations and for antibodies toneuronal cytoskeletal elements by Western blot analysis. Results.The percentages of CD3+CD16+CD56+, CD4+CD25+,CD8+CD25+, and CD8+HLA-DR populations were significantlyincreased in normal pregnancy and PE comparedto non-pregnant women (p<0.01), dramatic increase ofCD4+CD54+ but not CD4+CD45RA populations was observedin PE. Concentrations of autoantibodies for the 200-kDa neurofilament (NFH) was decreased but for the 160-kDa(NFM) was significantly increased in PE. Autoantibodiesagainst the 70-kDa neurofilament (NFL) was significantlydecreased in normal pregnancy compared to non- pregnantwomen (p < 0.05) and further decreased in PE (p < 0.01).Conclusions. The present study provides preliminary insightinto how peripheral blood anti-neurofilament antibody levelsand lymphocyte subpopulations correlate with normal andpre-eclamptic pregnancies. As these studies evolve, such correlationsmay emerge as valuable tools in medical monitoring,therapy and maintenance of healthy pregnancy.


Kuwait, Neurofilaments, Pre-eclampsia, Th1 Cells, Western Blot

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