As a member of the chemokine family, CXCL3 was previously known to participate in many pathophysiological events. However, whether CXCL3 stimulates trophoblast invasion as a key process of preeclampsia pathogenesis remains largely unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate this hypothesis and determine the effect of CXCL3 on the first trimester trophoblast. Seventy gravidas were included in this study. ELISA was used to detect CXCL3 plasma levels on preeclampsia and normal pregnant groups. CXCL3 protein and mRNA levels were detected via Western blot and real-time quantitative PCR analysis after immunolocalized in human placenta. Moreover, the CXCL3 function in HTR-8/Svneo was analyzed via WST-1 assay, flow cytometry and invasion test. The plasma CXCL3 level in preeclampsia was significantly higher than that in normal pregnancy. CXCL3 expression was observed in the cytoplasm of placental trophoblasts and vascular endothelium in all groups without significant difference between maternal and fetal sides. In addition, placenta CXCL3 expression in severe preeclampsia was significantly lower than those in normal and mild PE groups. Moreover, exogenous CXCL3 can promote the proliferation and invasion of HTR-8/Svneo; however, its effect on apoptosis remains unclear. In summary, a significant abnormality of plasma CXCL3 level and placental CXCL3 expression was discovered in severe preeclampsia; CXCL3 had a function in trophoblast invasion, which indicated its participation in shallow implantation. Therefore CXCL3 might be involved in severe preeclampsia pathogenesis.