Immune-modulatory effects of syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles in pregnancy and preeclampsia

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

26 Citaten (Scopus)
316 Downloads (Pure)


Unique immunologic adaptations exist to successfully establish and maintain pregnancy and to avoid an immune attack against the semi allogenic fetus. These adaptations occur both locally at the maternofetal interface and in the peripheral circulation and affect the innate as well as the adaptive immune system. Pregnancy is characterized by a general inflammatory state with activation of monocytes and granulocytes, but also with suppressive lymphocytes (regulatory T cells), and skewing towards T helper 2 immunity. The pregnancy complication preeclampsia is associated with an exaggerated inflammatory state and predominance of T helper 1 and 17 immunity. The syncytiotrophoblast has been found to secrete extracellular vesicles as communication factors into the maternal circulation. Syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles from normal pregnancy have been shown to interact with monocytes, granulocytes, T cells and natural killer cells and influence the function of these cells. In doing so, they may support the inflammatory state of normal pregnancy as well as the suppressive lymphocyte phenotype. During preeclampsia, syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles are not only increased in numbers but also showed an altered molecular load. Based on data from in vitro studies, it can be suggested that syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles from preeclamptic pregnancies may support the exaggerated inflammatory state during preeclampsia. In this review, we discuss the immunological functions of syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles and their involvement in adapting the maternal peripheral immunological adaptations to pregnancy.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)41-51
Aantal pagina's11
Nummer van het tijdschriftSupplement 1
Vroegere onlinedatum7-jun-2017
StatusPublished - dec-2017

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