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Abstract

In pregnancy, the decidual cells produce and secrete large amounts of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). M-CSF stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of trophoblasts. In addition, it stimulates them in a dose-dependent manner to produce certain hormones, such as human chorionic gonadotropin and human placental lactogen. Based on these facts, M-CSF is considered to be an essential cytokine for placental maintenance. Because placental dysfunction may sometimes result from preeclampsia, ascertaining blood M-CSF levels in preeclamptic patients would be of interest. The blood was collected from 33 subjects, of whom 19 were normal pregnant women and 14 were preeclamptic patients. The M-CSF level was determined by the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method using three antibodies. The investigators measured peripheral blood M-CSF levels in preeclamptic subjects and compared them with levels in subjects with normal pregnancies. This study showed that peripheral blood M-CSF levels were significantly higher in preeclamptic patients in the 30th and 38th weeks of pregnancy (P < .005). This is the first report concerning high M-CSF blood levels in preeclamptic patients.