CD19+CD5+ Cells as Indicators of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a devastating pregnancy-associated disorder affecting 5% to 8% of pregnant women worldwide. It emerges as an autoimmune-driven disease, and, among others, the autoantibodies against angiotensin type 1 receptor II have been proposed to account for preeclampsia symptoms. Despite much attention focused on describing autoantibodies associated with preeclampsia, there is no clue concerning the cell population producing them. CD19+CD5+ B-1a B cells constitute the main source of natural and polyreactive antibodies, which can be directed against own structures. Here, we aimed to identify the B-cell subpopulation responsible for autoantibody production during preeclampsia and to study their regulation, as well as their possible use as markers for the disease. The frequency of CD19+CD5+ cells in peripheral blood of preeclamptic patients is dramatically increased compared with normal pregnant women as analyzed by flow cytometry. This seems to be driven by the high human chorionic gonadotropin levels present in the serum and placenta supernatant of preeclamptic patients versus normal pregnant women. Not only ≈95% of CD19+CD5+ cells express the human chorionic gonadotropin receptor, but these cells also expand on human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation in a lymphocyte culture. Most importantly, isolated CD19+CD5+ cells produce autoantibodies against angiotensin type 1 receptor II, and CD19+CD5+ cells were further detected in the placenta of preeclamptic but not of normal pregnancies where barely B cells are present. Our results identify a B-cell population able to produce pregnancy-pathological autoantibodies as possible markers for preeclampsia, which opens vast diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
- Received November 22, 2011.
- Revision received December 16, 2011.
- Accepted January 28, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.