Association between Plasma HLA-DR+ Placental Vesicles and Preeclampsia: A Pilot Longitudinal Cohort Study

Nicoletta Di Simone;

(1) Background: Preeclampsia (PE) usually presents with hypertension and proteinuria, related to poor placentation. Reduced maternal-fetal immunological tolerance is a possible trigger of inadequate placentation. Aberrant antigen expression of HLA-DR has been observed in the syncytiotrophoblast of PE patients. In this study, we analyzed plasma levels of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DR+ syncytiotrophoblast-derived extracellular vesicles (STEVs) during the three trimesters of pregnancy in relation to PE onset. (2) Methods: Pregnant women underwent venous blood sampling during the three trimesters. STEVs were collected from plasma via ultracentrifugation (120,000 g) and characterized by Western blot, nanotracking analysis and flow cytometry for the expression of Placental Alkaline Phosphatase (PLAP), a placental-derived marker, and HLA-DR. (3) Results: Out of 107 women recruited, 10 developed PE. STEVs were detected in all three trimesters of pregnancy with a zenith in the second trimester. A significant difference was found between the non-PE and PE groups in terms of plasma levels of HLA-DR+ STEVs during all three trimesters of pregnancy. (4) Conclusions: More research is needed to investigate HLA-DR+ as a potential early marker of PE.
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