Altered maternal immunity during and after preeclampsia

immunology preeclampsia pregnancy

dr. J.R. Prins

Nature of the research:
Analysis of blood and tissue of pregnant women with healthy pregnancies and women with preeclampsia. Tissue and blood will be analysed in the laboratory.

Fields of study:
immunology obstetrics obstetrics

Background / introduction
Previous studies have shown that adequate regulation of the maternal immune system during pregnancy is necessary for optimal pregnancy outcomes. The maternal immune system has to adapt to tolerate the allogeneic fetus, non-optimal adaptation is associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm birth and recurrent miscarriage. Of these, preeclampsia is a major cause of fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality, and preeclampsia has a high recurrence risk.

Preeclampsia has been associated with maladaptation of the maternal immune system, and it is known that maternal immune characteristics are different after a normal pregnancy compared to after a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. Whether these altered characteristics are involved in the high recurrence risk of preeclampsia in a subsequent pregnancy, and whether it is possible to identify an immune risk profile is not known and will be the focus of this project.
Research question / problem definition
In this project we aim to analyze the role of the maternal immune system in the development of preeclampsia and in the high recurrence risk of preeclampsia in a subsequent pregnancy.
This project will be a collaboration with the Radboud University in Nijmegen. In this project we will further analyze the role of the maternal immune system in preeclampsia. We will use blood and tissue such as placentas from healthy pregnancies and preeclampsia. Next to this, we aim to identify an immune at risk profile for women at risk for preeclampsia in a subsequent pregnancy.
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