There are many suggestions that pre-eclampsia has an immunological basis. According to the immunological theory of the disease, there is a failure of the immunological recognition of fetal alloantigens during pregnancy. It seems that abnormal activation of the immune system may play a role in the etiology of pre-eclampsia. Many authors have found a number of changes in the adaptive immune system which may contribute to the development of pre-eclampsia. Recent data suggest that pre-eclampsia is a T helper 1/T helper 2 immunity disorder with predominant Th1 type immunity. Furthermore, there is an evidence regarding the activation of the innate immune system in pre-eclampsia. It has been shown lately that normal third trimester pregnancy is characterized by the activation of peripheral blood leukocytes, which is further increased in pre-eclampsia. The possible immunological etiology of pre-eclampsia has been suggested because of some clinical and epidemiological observations. It has been observed lately that there is a protective effect of sperm exposure and that the duration of sexual cohabitation before conception is inversely related to the risk of pre-eclampsia. There are also epidemiological data that there is a higher incidence of pre-eclampsia in women conceiving by intrauterine insemination with donor sperm compared IUI with partner sperm.
Keywords: autoimmunity, cytokines, dendritic cells, hypertension in pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, lymphocytes
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