Preeclampsia serum upregulates CD40/CD40L expression and induces apoptosis in human umbilical cord endothelial cells
1 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the First Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150001, P. R. China
2 Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150001, P. R. China
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2012, 10:28 doi:10.1186/1477-7827-10-28Published: 18 April 2012
The endothelial cell dysfunction observed in preeclampsia (PE) may be induced by CD40/CD40L signaling. This study investigated the role of CD40/CD40L in the pathogenesis of PE by comparing the effect of maternal serum obtained from healthy pregnant women and PE patients on HUVEC cell growth, apoptosis and CD40/CD40L expression.
Maternal serum was obtained from 20 patients with PE (PE group) as well as 20 healthy pregnant women (control group). The human umbilical endothelial cell line, CRL1730, was cultured in the presence of maternal serum for 24, 48, and 72 h after which cell growth and apoptosis were assessed by MTT and flow cytometry analysis, respectively. CD40/CD40L expression was determined using flow cytometry and RT-PCR analyses.
As compared to CRL1730 cells treated with control sera, those treated with PE sera had altered morphology, decreased cell growth, increased apoptosis and greater CD40/CD40L protein and mRNA expression. Stimulation of CD40/CD40L protein and mRNA expression by PE sera was greatest at 24 h.
PE sera may induce endothelial cell damage possibly through increased CD40/CD40L expression in early-onset PE. Further studies are necessary to determine the factor(s) in PE sera responsible for the observed changes in endothelial cell viability.