Objectives: Placental isoferritin (PLF) is an immunosuppressive cytokine-like protein; low concentrations have been found in women with preeclampsia. In this study, the possible involvement of this placental product in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia was investigated. Serum PLF was measured in pregnant women at risk of developing preeclampsia, before the onset of the clinical disorder. Design: Two hundred thirty-one women were included in the study: 85 were at risk of developing preeclampsia and 146 were low-risk controls. Levels of PLF were measured in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy. Results: Mean (± SEM) third-trimester serum PLF values were significantly lower in the study group (14.8 ± 3.9 U/mL) compared with those of the controls (19.0 ± 2.6 U/mL, p = 0.0001). Lower PLF values were also observed in the first and second trimesters, but these results did not reach conventional significance. Furthermore, serum PLF values were not significantly lower in the study group women who developed preeclampsia when compared with those who did not. Low serum PLF values were also observed in women with intrauterine-growth-restricted pregnancies, but, again, these results did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: Low serum PLF values may reflect placental function and represent a possible predictive biomarker for developing preeclampsia in pregnant women at risk.
- Placental isoferritin