Objective: The neurotrophin family comprises molecules involved in growth, differentiation, survival, regeneration, normal functions of the neuronal system, and in angiogenesis. We have investigated the expression pattern of neurotrophic signaling molecules in pregnancies complicated by elevated liver enzyme, and low platelet (HELLP) syndrome and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Methods: Placentas from normal and pathological pregnancies were collected. Macroarray analysis was performed and the data were confirmed by real-time PCR.
Results: Real-time PCR analyses (pathological vs. normal pregnancies) confirmed a significant down-regulation for IL-6, STAT3α, STAT3β, and Bcl-2. The expression of Mcl-1 isoform 1 (long) was significantly increased.
Conclusions: We suggest that decreased expression of IL-6 could mean that abnormalities in the immunological system function involve inflammatory cytokines other than IL-6 in examined pathological pregnancies. The STAT3α and STAT3β down-regulation lead to a marked reduction of cellular transcriptional activity. Decreased expression of IL-6 is associated with a down-regulation of Bcl-2 but not of Mcl-1 isoform 1, suggesting that these two antiapoptotic proteins may function independently and that Mcl-1 may have a distinct role in controlling apoptotic pathway.