Objective: In order to elucidate the potential role of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) during the course of normal pregnancy and preeclampsia, we measured the serum concentrations of G-CSF in both normal pregnant women and preeclamptic patients.
Methods: Sera of 10 nonpregnant women, 34 normal pregnant women (n = 10, first trimester; n = 10, second trimester; n = 14, third trimester), 10 postpartum women, 10 mild preeclamptic patients, and 10 severe preeclamptic patients were collected. The serum concentrations of G-CSF were measured by enzyme immunoassay.
Results: The serum level of G-CSF in normal pregnant women (third trimester: 38.3 +/- 15.3 pg/mL; mean +/- SD) was significantly increased when compared with the levels observed in nonpregnant women (20.3 +/- 10.1 pg/mL, p < 0.05), which was similar to the G-CSF concentrations in postpartum subjects (20.7 +/- 9.1 pg/mL). The mild and severe preeclamptic patients showed significantly higher levels of G-CSF (56.9 +/- 18.8 pg/mL, p < 0.05; 73.2 +/- 30.4 pg/mL, p < 0.0001, respectively) than those noted in the third trimester women. The preeclamptic patients who presented with edema had greater (p < 0.01) serum levels of G-CSF (75.5 +/- 25.0 pg/mL) compared with nonedematous patients (44.7 +/- 14.9 pg/mL). The serum levels of G-CSF significantly correlated with both weight gain (p < 0.05), diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.01), and systolic blood pressure (p < 0.01), but not with white blood cell counts.
Conclusion: Serum concentrations of G-CSF are increased in normal and, even more so, in preeclamptic pregnancies. Because there was no relationship between serum G-CSF concentration and the number of leukocytes, G-CSF might act not to promote the physiological leukocytosis of pregnancy, but to stimulate the function of leukocytes such as phagocytosis. Moreover, it might be that G-CSF plays important roles in the activation of granulocytes or vascular endothelial injury, which are considered to be important pathological conditions in the development of preeclampsia.