Article Type

Original Study


Objective: This study was carried out to assess the presence of an inflammatory response during preeclampsia by demonstrating the presence of the CD40 ligand in preeclamptic pregnancies compared with normal pregnancies. Background: Preeclampsia is a multisystem disorder generally appearing after the 20th week of gestation. Worldwide, the incidence of preeclampsia is seen in 2–10% of pregnancies. WHO estimates the incidence of preeclampsia to be seven times higher in developing countries (2.8% of live births) than in developed countries (0.4%). It is characterized by hypertension, proteinuria, vascular abnormalities, and often intrauterine growth retardation. The only effective treatment is delivery of the fetus and placenta. Participants and methods: Fifteen normal, apparently healthy nonpregnant women, 20 normal, apparently healthy pregnant women, and 68 pregnant women suffering from preeclampsia were included in this study. The serum concentration of sCD40 ligand was measured using ELISA. Statistical analysis was performed using Mann–Whitney U and ANOVA tests. Results: The serum concentration of soluble CD40L was significantly higher in women with preeclampsia than in normal pregnant women. In normal pregnancy the concentration of sCD40L was significantly lower than that in nonpregnant women. We conclude that the levels of inflammatory mediators are higher in women with preeclampsia than in normal pregnant women. In normal pregnancy the levels of these inflammatory mediators are lower than those seen in nonpregnant women. Conclusion: These results suggest that preeclampsia is associated with activation of the CD40–CD40L system. The activation of this system may contribute to the development or maintenance of the proinflammatory and prothrombic state found in preeclampsia.