Reduced uterine perfusion pressure T-helper 17 cells cause pathophysiology associated with preeclampsia during pregnancy


  • D.C. Cornelius
  • L.M. Amaral
  • K. Wallace
  • N. Campbell
  • A.J. Thomas
  • J. Scott
  • F. Herse
  • G. Wallukat
  • R. Dechend
  • B. LaMarca


  • American Journal of Physiology Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology


  • Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 311 (6): R1192-R1199


  • Preeclampsia is associated with chronic inflammation and an imbalance among T-helper cell subtypes with an increase in T-helper 17 (TH17) cells. The objective of this study was to determine a role for TH17s from the RUPP rat model of preeclampsia to cause hypertension and chronic inflammation during pregnancy. CD4+/CD25- T cells were isolated from rat spleens, cultured in TH17 media, and were verified as TH17s via flow cytometry. On day 12 of gestation, 1x106 TH17 cells from RUPP rats were adoptively transferred into NP rats, carotid catheters inserted on day 18, and on day 19 mean arterial pressure (MAP) was recorded, serum and plasma were collected, and oxidative stress and AT1-AA production were analyzed. MAP increased from 100.3+/-1.7 mmHg in NP (n=17), to 124.8±2.1 mmHg in RUPP (n=22, P<0.0001) and to 110.8+/-2.8 mmHg in NP+RUPP TH17 (n=11). Pup weights in NP+RUPP TH17s were decreased to 1.92+/-0.09 g from 2.39+/-0.14 in NP rats (p<0.01). AT1-AA significantly increased from 0.1+/-0.2 beats/min in NP to 15.6+/-0.7 beats/min in NP+RUPP TH17s. IL-6 was 22.3+/-5.7 pg/mL in NP and increased to 60.45+/-13.8 pg/mL in RUPP (p<0.05) and 75.9 +/-6.8 pg/mL in NP+RUPP TH17 rats (p<0.01). Placental and renal oxidative stress were 238+/-27.5 and 411+/-129.9 RLUs/min/mg in NP and 339±104.6 and 833±331.1 RLUs/min/mg in NP+RUPP TH17. In conclusion, RUPP TH17 cells induced intrauterine growth restriction and increased blood pressure, AT1-AA, IL-6, and tissue oxidative stress when transferred to NP rats, indicating a role for autoimmune associated TH17 cells, to cause much of the pathophysiology associated with preeclampsia.