Amniotic fluid induces platelet-neutrophil aggregation and neutrophil activation

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Amniotic fluid embolism syndrome is a fatal disease in pregnant women. The exact role of platelets and neutrophils in amniotic fluid embolism syndrome is not clear. We examined whether amniotic fluid could affect platelet-neutrophil aggregation and activation and the possible mechanisms.

Study Design

Blood samples from the pregnant women were pretreated ex vivo with their own amniotic fluid. Flow cytometry was used to measure platelet-neutrophil aggregation and activation. Neutrophil-mediated activity of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 was analyzed by Western blotting.


Amniotic fluid significantly induced platelet-neutrophil aggregation, neutrophil CD11b expression, and reactive oxygen species production. Amniotic fluid induced minimal platelet P-selectin expression. The increase of intracellular calcium level of neutrophils and the activity of p38 mitogen–activated protein kinase were enhanced by amniotic fluid stimulation.


Amniotic fluid was able to induce neutrophil activation and platelet-neutrophil aggregation with minimal effect on platelet activation. These findings may provide a new insight in the understanding of the pathophysiologic condition of amniotic fluid embolism syndrome.

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