Objectives: To characterize the changes in the level of T helper 1 (Th1)- [interleukin (IL)-2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha] and Th2-type cytokine (IL-10) and the ratios of Th1/Th2 (IL-2/IL-10 and TNF-alpha/IL-10) in placentae from women with preeclampsia and women with gestational hypertension.
Methods: Placental levels of IL-2, TNF-alpha, and IL-10 were determined with radioimmunoassay and Th1/Th2 ratios (IL-2/IL-10 and TNF-alpha/IL-10) calculated in the placentae from 22 women with preeclampsia, 15 women with gestational hypertension, and 32 normal term pregnant women.
Results: Although preeclampsia had the trend of the increase in the placental levels of IL-2 and TNF-alpha and the trend of the decrease in placental IL-10, there were not significant difference in placental levels of IL-2, IL-10, and TNF-alpha among preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and normal pregnancy (P > 0.05 for all). Placental ratios of IL-2/IL-10 and TNF-alpha/IL-10 were significantly higher in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy (P = 0.035 and P = 0.005, respectively). No differences of Th1/Th2 ratios were found between preeclampsia and gestational hypertension and between gestational hypertension and normal pregnancy (P > 0.05 for all).
Conclusions: Alterations of placental balances of cytokines with Th1 predominance were demonstrated in preeclampsia. These associations may offer insights into the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.