Background: Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy specific syndrome that is associated with high maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Glucose regulated protein78 (GRP78) is an Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) protein which is expressed on the cell surfaces of trophoblast cells under stress or hypoxic condition. GRP78 has a role in aggressive behavior of invasive cells and may play a role in normal placentation.
Objectives: To investigate the autoantibody against GRP78 in the sera of patients with PE and to assess the correlation between antibody and severity of the disease.
Methods: We evaluated the anti-GRP78 antibody within the sera of fifty pre-eclamptic (12 severe and 38 mild PE) and fifty healthy pregnant women using a home-made ELISA assay. Furthermore, western blot technique was used to assess the expression of GRP78 in placenta of healthy and pre-eclamptic women in their third trimester. The presence of anti-GRP78 antibody in the serum samples from pre-eclamptic and healthy women was also assessed.
Results: GRP78 was expressed by placenta, and both healthy and preeclamptic women produced anti-GRP78 antibody. Although no significant difference was found between the pre-eclamptic and healthy women regarding the level of anti-GRP78 antibody, the difference between severe pre-eclamptic and healthy control women was statistically significant (p<0.003).
Conclusion: The findings of the present study indicated that measurement of anti-GRP78 antibody may provide a new marker for severe pre-eclampsia. Yet, future studies are required to confirm this notion.