What is the role of immunologic factors in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Kee-Hak Lim, MD; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Immunologic factors have long been considered to be key players in preeclampsia. One important component is a poorly understood dysregulation of maternal tolerance to paternally derived placental and fetal antigens. [21] This maternal-fetal immune maladaptation is characterized by defective cooperation between uterine natural killer(NK) cells and fetal human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C, and results in histologic changes similar to those seen in acute graft rejection.

The endothelial cell dysfunction that is characteristic of preeclampsia may be partially due to an extreme activation of leukocytes in the maternal circulation, as evidenced by an upregulation of type 1 helper T cells.


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