Inflammatory Changes in Preeclampsia: Current Understanding of the Maternal Innate and Adaptive Immune Response

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Preeclampsia is characterized by generalized endothelial dysfunction as a result of an inappropriate maternal immune response against the fetus. It has been postulated that the adaptive immune system plays a key role in the etiology of preeclampsia by generating a pro-inflammatory Th1 type immune reaction. In this review, recent studies on Th1 and Th2 type cytokine mapping in preeclampsia are reviewed, as well as on the sources of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the role of regulatory cytokines and chemokines. In addition, we discuss the possible role of Toll-like receptors of the innate immune system in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia.Target Audience:Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family PhysiciansLearning Objectives:After completion of this article, the reader should be able to summarize the newer concepts related to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and explain the role of the maternal immune system and the role of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines and chemokines in the pathophysiology of the disease.

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