Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Medical sciences / University of Tehran

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, Medical sciences / University of Tehran

3 Biotechnology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran Iran


Background: Preeclampsia is a major cause of mortality and morbidity and is also a leading cause of preterm birth and intrauterine growth retardation. Several studies have reported abnormal levels of cytokines in women with preeclampsia.
Objectives: To detect serum levels of various cytokines in pregnant women with and without preeclampsia in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Methods: Thirty patients with preeclampsia and thirty normal pregnant women were enrolled in the study. Blood samples were taken and serum levels of IFN γ, IL-12p70, IL-18, IL-15, IL-4 and IL-10 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Preeclamptic women had significantly increased levels of circulating IL-12p70 (p < 0.05), IL-18 (p < 0.001), IL-4 (p < 0.001), IL-15 (p < 0.05) and IFN γ (p < 0.001). By contrast, circulating levels of IL-10 were not significantly different between the two groups.
Conclusions: The present study supports the hypothesis of altered immune response in preeclampsia and suggests that dysregulation of cytokine expression occurs in preeclampsia with increased levels of IFN γ, IL-12p70, IL-15, IL-18 and IL-4.