The effects of preeclampsia on signaling to hematopoietic progenitor cells
Background: The role of the microenvironment is important in cell differentiation. The effect of placental disease on the growth and differentiation and hematopoietic stem cells has not been well-studied.
Methods: Enzyme linked immunoassay was used to measure erythropoietin and osteopontin in plasma from umbilical cord blood of children born to normotensive and preeclamptic women. Additionally, CD34+ cells were isolated from umbilical cord blood and grown in complete methylcellulose media. Colony types were identified and enumerated.
Results: Differences in the concentration of erythropoietin in the cord blood between the controls and the preeclamptics approached significance (P = 0.067) using a Mann-Whitney U test. In the plasma of cord blood from children born to normotensive women, the median erythropoietin was 0.186 mIU/mL compared to 1.986 mIU/mL in children of preeclamptic women. We did not find any significant differences in the number and types of colonies; however, there was a trend toward increased BFU-E in the preeclamptic samples. Furthermore, this trend for increased BFU-E colonies was also seen from CD34+ cells isolated from umbilical cord blood of severe preeclamptics compared to mild.
Conclusion: Our preliminary studies suggest that abnormalities in the placenta, such as those found when the mother experiences preeclampsia, may affect the ability of hematopoietic stem cells to grow and differentiate.