Maternal hepatic immunology during pregnancy

Front Immunol. 2023 Jun 30:14:1220323. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1220323. eCollection 2023.


The liver plays pivotal roles in immunologic responses, and correct hepatic adaptations in maternal immunology are required during pregnancy. In this review, we focus on anatomical and immunological maternal hepatic adaptations during pregnancy, including our recent reports in this area. Moreover, we summarize maternal pregnancy-associated liver diseases, including hyperemesis gravidarum; intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy; preeclampsia, specifically hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome; and acute fatty liver of pregnancy. In addition, the latest information about the factors that regulate hepatic immunology during pregnancy are reviewed for the first time, including human chorionic gonadotropin, estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, insulin like growth factor 1, oxytocin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, adrenal hormone, prolactin, melatonin and prostaglandins. In summary, the latest progress on maternal hepatic anatomy and immunological adaptations, maternal pregnancy-associated diseases and the factors that regulate hepatic immunology during pregnancy are discussed, which may be used to prevent embryo loss and abortion, as well as pregnancy-associated liver diseases.

Keywords: growth factor; hormone; immunology; liver; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic*
  • Fatty Liver*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum* / complications
  • Pre-Eclampsia*
  • Pregnancy

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the grants from Hebei Postgraduate Innovation Ability Funding Project (CXZZSS2023125), Hebei Natural Science Foundation, China (C2021402019 and C2022402038), and Hebei Science and Technology Agency, China (22326602D).