Interleukin 10 Deficiency Exacerbates Toll-Like Receptor 3–Induced Preeclampsia-Like Symptoms in Mice
Preeclampsia may result from overactivation of the maternal immune system and is characterized by endothelial dysfunction and excessive inflammation. Given the importance of maternal immune system regulation and anti-inflammatory cytokines in normotensive pregnancies, we hypothesized that maternal immune system activation via Toll-like receptor 3 during pregnancy would cause preeclampsia-like symptoms in mice, which would be made worse by deficiency of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10. The Toll-like receptor 3 agonist polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) caused hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, and proteinuria in mice only when pregnant. In the absence of poly I:C, pregnant interleukin 10 knockout mice exhibited a significant increase in systolic blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, and serum proinflammatory cytokines, as well as aortic and placental platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression compared with pregnant wild-type mice. Deficiency of interleukin 10 further augmented these measures in poly I:C–treated pregnant mice. In addition, sera from poly I:C-treated pregnant wild-type mice significantly decreased relaxation responses and increased platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression in isolated aortas from nonpregnant wild-type mice, and these effects were augmented by sera from poly I:C-treated interleukin 10 knockout mice. Coincubation with recombinant interleukin 10 normalized relaxation responses and platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule expression in all of the groups. Collectively, Toll-like receptor 3 activation during pregnancy causes preeclampsia-like symptoms, which are exacerbated by the absence of interleukin 10. Exogenous interleukin 10 treatment had beneficial effects on endothelial function and may be beneficial in women with preeclampsia.
- Received February 22, 2011.
- Revision received March 9, 2011.
- Accepted June 20, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.