Placental imbalance of Th1- and Th2-type cytokines in preeclampsia

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 Aug;84(8):788-93. doi: 10.1111/j.0001-6349.2005.00714.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / metabolism
  • Maternal Age
  • Placenta / chemistry
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / metabolism
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Probability
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines