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Enhanced S100B Expression in Lymphocytes in Spontaneous Preterm Birth and Preeclampsia

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Nov 2021
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Image: Scanning electron micrograph of a CD4+ T cell – these cells expresses elevated levels of S100B in PE/HELLP patients (Photo courtesy the British Society of Immunology)
Image: Scanning electron micrograph of a CD4+ T cell – these cells expresses elevated levels of S100B in PE/HELLP patients (Photo courtesy the British Society of Immunology)
Preterm birth is commonly defined as any birth before 37 weeks completed weeks of gestation. An estimated 15 million infants are born preterm globally, disproportionately affecting low and middle income countries.

S100B is a calcium-binding peptide and is used as a parameter of glial activation and/or death in many disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). It plays important roles in normal CNS development and recovery after injury. Although S100B is mainly found in astroglial and Schwann cells, it also has extracerebral sources.

A team of Clinical Scientists led by those at the University of Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany) and in collaboration with the Otto von Guericke University (Magdeburg, Germany) determined the concentration of S100B in maternal and cord blood (CB) plasma and placenta supernatant as well as the expression of S100B in maternal and CB CD4+ T cells and CD19+ B cells in Spontaneous Preterm Birth (sPTB) and patients delivering following preeclampsia (PE) and HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count). (PE/HELLP) diagnosis was compared to women delivering at term (TD). The S100B expression was further related to the birth weight in the study cohort.

The investigators reported that S100B concentration was enhanced in maternal and CB plasma of sPTB and PE/HELLP patients and positively correlated with interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Increased S100B was also confirmed in CB of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants. S100B expression in maternal blood was elevated in CD4+ T cells of PE/HELLP patients and patients who gave birth to SGA newborns as well as in CD19+ B cells of sPTB and PE/HELLP patients and patients with SGA babies. In CB, the expression of S100B was increased in CD19+ B cells of sPTB, PE/HELLP and SGA babies.

The authors concluded that their results support the hypothesis that S100B expression is enhanced in inflammatory events associated with preterm birth and that S100B expression in immune cells is a relevant marker for inflammation during pregnancy complications. The study was published on November 1, 2021 in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine.

Related Links:
University of Leipzig
Otto von Guericke University

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