The distribution of macrophages in spiral arteries of the placental bed in pre-eclampsia differs from that in healthy patients

F Reister, H G Frank, W Heyl, G Kosanke, B Huppertz, W Schröder, P Kaufmann, W Rath
Placenta 1999, 20 (2): 229-33
Placental bed biopsies taken during caesarean section from 10 patients with pre-eclampsia and six healthy pregnancies were studied. We applied antibodies against cytokeratin and different macrophage markers to analyse the distribution of invasive extravillous trophoblast cells as compared to that of macrophages in myometrial segments of uteroplacental arteries. The data were evaluated quantitatively. We found a clear inverse relationship between local infiltration with macrophages and trophoblast invasion. In pre-eclampsia, vessel cross-sections prevailed which were characterized by large numbers of macrophages but a low degree of trophoblast invasion. In contrast, in normal third trimester pregnancies the respective arterial segments had a high degree of trophoblast invasion but were largely void of macrophages. These data suggest causal links between macrophages and inhibition of intra-arterial trophoblast invasion in pre-eclampsia.

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