Thrombin-Induced Inflammation in Human Decidual Cells Is Not Affected By Heparin.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Thrombin (Thr) generation at the uteroplacental interface induces inflammation and weakens fetal membranes. Tissue factor (TF) is a powerful procoagulant that is increased by Thr in decidual cells (DCs). The TF expression may play an important role in modulating Thr-induced inflammation. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of heparin, including nonanticoagulant (desulfated) heparins, on basal and Thr-induced expression of TF and inflammatory cytokines in DCs.

METHODS

Fetal membranes were collected from term pregnancies undergoing unlabored cesarean delivery and then DCs were isolated and cultured. Third passage DCs were conditioned in defined media for 1 week and then treated with 1 of the 4 heparins (enoxaparin, unfractionated heparin, and 2 desulfated heparins) with and without Thr (2.5 U/mL) for 24 hours. Supernatant levels of interleukin (IL) 6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor α, and interferon γ (IFN-γ) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blots were performed on cell lysates to determine TF expression. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare cytokine concentrations and normalized TF expression among treatments.

RESULTS

Treatment of DCs with Thr alone increased the expression of TF, IL-6, IL8, IL-10, and IFN-γ compared to basal levels ( P < .05 for each). Cotreatment of DCs with Thr and any of the tested heparins did not decrease the expression of TF or inflammatory cytokines compared to treatment with Thr alone.

DISCUSSION

Heparins do not appear to affect basal or Thr-induced expression of TF or inflammatory cytokines in human term DCs. Additional work is needed to determine whether nonanticoagulant heparins can reduce inflammation and membrane weakening due to bleeding in pregnancy.

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