OBJECTIVE: The maternal syndrome of preeclampsia has recently been attributed to a systemic intravascular inflammatory response and endothelial cell activation and dysfunction. This novel hypothesis has considerable clinical and biological implications. This study was designed to determine whether women with preeclampsia have evidence of intravascular inflammation by examination of the phenotypic and metabolic activity of granulocytes and monocytes. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was performed that included patients with preeclampsia (n = 31) and normal pregnancies (n = 58) matched for gestational age at blood draw. Intravascular inflammation was studied with use of flow cytometry. Peripheral venous blood was assayed to determine granulocyte and monocyte phenotype with the use of monoclonal antibodies for selective cluster differentiation (CD) antigens. The panel of antibodies included CD11b, CD14, CD16, CD18, CD49d, CD62L, CD64, CD66b, and HLA-DR. The quantity of basal intracellular reactive oxygen species and oxidative burst was assessed. Results were reported as mean channel brightness or intensity of detected fluorescence. Analysis was conducted with nonparametric statistics. A P value < .01 was considered to be significant. RESULTS: Preeclampsia was associated with a significant increase in mean channel brightness for CD11b on granulocytes and monocytes but lower mean channel brightness for CD62L on granulocytes than those from women with normal pregnancy (P < .01 for each). Basal intracellular reactive oxygen species were increased in monocytes but not in granulocytes. The oxidative burst was higher in both cell types. CONCLUSION: Preeclampsia is associated with phenotypic and metabolic changes in granulocytes and monocytes.
- Leukocyte phenotype
- Maternal intravascular inflammation