Longitudinal assessment of HLA and MIC-A antibodies in uneventful pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia or gestational diabetes

Sci Rep. 2017 Oct 19;7(1):13524. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13275-6.


The significance of antibodies directed against paternal epitopes in the context of obstetric disorders is discussed controversially. In this study anti-HLA and anti-MIC-A antibodies were analysed in sera of women with uneventful pregnancy (n = 101), preeclampsia (PE, n = 55) and gestational diabetes (GDM, n = 36) using antigen specific microbeads. While two thirds of the women with uneventful pregnancy or GDM were HLA and MIC-A antibody positive in gestational week 11 to 13 with a modest increase towards the end of pregnancy, women with PE showed an inverse kinetic: 90% were HLA antibody positive in gestational week 11 to 13 and only 10% showed HLA reactivities at the end of the pregnancy. HLA antibody binding strength was more pronounced in gestational week 14 to 17 in patients with PE compared to women with uneventful pregnancy (maximum median fluorescence intensity of the highest ranked positive bead 7403, IQR 2193-7938 vs. 1093, IQR 395-5689; p = 0.04) and was able to predict PE with an AUC of 0.80 (95% CI 0.67-0.93; p = 0.002). Our data suggest a pathophysiological involvement of HLA antibodies in PE. HLA antibody quantification in early pregnancy may provide a useful tool to increase diagnostic awareness in women prone to develop PE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • ROC Curve


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • HLA Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MR1 protein, human
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens