Article Type

Original Study


Background: Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a devastating pregnancy-associated disorder affecting 5–8% of pregnant women worldwide. It emerges as an autoimmune-driven disease. The autoantibodies against angiotensin type 1 receptor II have been proposed to account for PE symptoms. CD19(+)CD5(+) B-1a B cells constitute the main source of natural and polyreactive antibodies, which can be directed against own structures. Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the B-cell subpopulation responsible for autoantibody production during PE and its correlation with b subunit of hCG levels. CD19+CD5+ B-cell percentages were measured using flow cytometry in 36 PE women in their third trimester (20 severe and 16 mild) and 15 age-matched normotensive pregnant women with normally developing pregnancies in their third trimester. Patients and methods: We observed significantly higher levels of frequency of CD19+/CD5+ B lymphocytes in the mild and severe PE groups compared with the levels observed in normotensive women with normally developing pregnancies in the third trimester (mild PE, 28.7 ± 14.3%, n = 16; severe PE, 29.9 ± 9.8%, n = 20; control, 11.3 ± 6.4%, n = 15; P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). However, comparison of the mild PE group with the severe PE group showed comparable levels of CD19+/CD5+ B cells (P > 0.05). Results: Correlation between the percentages of CD19+/CD5+ B lymphocytes and b hCG levels was not significant. Moreover, correlations between the percentages of CD19+/CD5+ B lymphocytes and other laboratory parameters were not significant. Conclusion: CD19+/CD5+ cells emerge as a novel PE marker. Their frequency does not seem to be regulated by the increased serum hCG levels. The detection and quantification of CD19+/CD5+ cells in maternal blood may open vast new therapeutic opportunities.