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1.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-913068

ABSTRACT

Objective To investigate the expression and possible role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) at the maternal-fetal interface following Toxoplasma gondii infection during early pregnancy. Methods Twenty pregnant C57BL/6 mice, each weighing 16 to 20 g, were randomly divided into 4 groups, including the 12-d control group, 12-d infection group, 18-d control group and 18-d infection group. Mice in the 12-d and 18-d infection groups were injected intraperitoneally with 150 tachyzoites of the T. gondii PRU strain on day 6 of pregnancy, while mice in the 12-d control and 18-d control groups were injected with the same volume of phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Mice in the control and infection groups were sacrificed on days 12 and 18 of pregnancy, and the placental and uterine specimens of the pregnant mice in each group were sampled for pathological examinations. The mRNA expression of HIF-1α, HIF-1β and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was quantified using quantitative fluorescent real-time PCR (qPCR) assay in the placental and uterine specimens, and the correlation between HIF-1α and VEGF mRNA expression was examined. In addition, and the HIF-1α expression was detected using immunohistochemical staining in the placental and uterine specimens of pregnant mice. Results Compared with the 12-d and 18-d control groups, adverse pregnant outcomes were observed in mice in 12-d and 18-d infection groups, such as teratism and placental dysplasia. HE staining showed swelling and blood stasis of cells, sinusoid reduction and inflammatory cell infiltration in the labyrinth area of the placenta specimens of mice in 12-d and 18-d infection groups relative to 12-d and 18-d control groups, and columnar epithelial cell injury and inflammatory cell infiltration were seen in the mouse uterine specimens in both infection groups. qPCR assay detected significantly higher HIF-1α (F = 132.6, P < 0.05) and HIF-1β mRNA expression (F = 286.9, P < 0.05) in the placental specimens and lower HIF-1α (F = 111.5, P < 0.05) and HIF-1β mRNA expression (F = 55.2, P < 0.05) in the uterine specimens in the 12-d infection group than in the 12-day control group, and significantly lower HIF-1α and HIF-1β mRNA expression was detected in the placental and uterine specimens in the 18-d infection group than in the 18-day control group (F = 215.8, 418.9, 156.8 and 200.1; all P values < 0.05). Significantly lower VEGF-A (F = 426.2, P < 0.05), VEGF-B (F = 104.6, P < 0.05) and VEGF-C mRNA expression (F = 566.9, P < 0.05) in the placental specimens and higher VEGF-A (F = 426.2, P < 0.05), VEGF-B (F = 104.6, P < 0.05) and VEGF-C mRNA expression (F = 566.9, P < 0.05) in the uterine specimens were detected in the 12-d infection group than in the 12-d control group, and higher VEGF-A, VEGF-B and VEGF-C mRNA expression was found in the placental and uterine specimens in the 18-d infection group than in the 18-d control group (F = 521.9, 100.6, 275.9, 224.6, 108.2 and 333.4; all P values < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining showed strongly and mildly positive HIF-1α expression in the mouse placental labyrinth area in the 12-d and 18-d infection groups relative to 12-d and 18-d control groups, while no HIF-1α expression was detected in mouse uterine specimens. Conclusions HIF-1α expression appears a tendency towards a rise in the second trimester and a reduction in the third trimester in mice following T. gondii infection during early pregnancy, which is contrary to the changing tendency of VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and VEGF-C expression. It is hypothesized that HIF-1α inhibits placental angiogenesis in mice during pregnancy through suppressing VEGF expression, resulting in adverse pregnant outcomes.

2.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-876710

ABSTRACT

Objective To explore the dynamic expression of programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 at the maternal-fetal interface of mice post-infection with Toxoplasma gondii at early pregnancy and examine its interaction with interferon-γ (IFN-γ). Methods A total of 20 mice at day 0 of pregnancy were randomly assigned into 4 groups, including the 12-day pregnancy control group (12 dpn group), 12-day pregnancy and infection group (12 dpi group), 18-day pregnancy control group (18 dpn group) and 18-day pregnancy and infection group (18 dpi group), respectively. On the 6th day of the pregnancy, mice in the 12 dpi and 18 dpi groups were injected intraperitoneally with 150 tachyzoites of the T. gondii PRU strain, while mice in the 12 dpn and 18 dpn groups were injected with the same volume of PBS. All mice in the four groups were sacrificed on 12th and 18th day of the pregnancy, and the number of placenta and fetus was counted and the weight of placenta and fetus was measured. Then, the placental and uterine tissues of the pregnant mice in each group were sampled for pathological examinations. The mRNA expression of PD-1, PD-L1, T. gondii surface antigen SAG-1 and IFN-γ genes was quantified using a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay, and the correlation between PD-1 and IFN-γ expression was examined. In addition, the 12 dpn group, 12 dpi group, 18 dpn group, 18 dpi group, PBS negative control of the 12 pdi group and PBS negative control of the 18 dpi group were assigned, and the PD-1 expression was determined in the uterine and placenta tissues of the pregnant mice. Results Adverse pregnant outcomes were seen in mice in the 12 dpi and 18 dpi groups, including placental dysplasia and fetal maldevelopment, and the placental weights and fetal body weights were significantly lower in mice in the 12 dpi and 18 dpi groups than those in the 12 dpn and 18 dpn groups (t = 5.52, 11.44, 12.63 and 11.67, all P < 0.01). The histopathological examinations showed that the decidua and junctional regions of the placental tissues were loosely connected in the 12 dpi and 18 dpi groups, and a large number of inflammatory cells infiltration and congestion were seen in the placental and uterine tissues. qPCR assay detected significant differences in PD-1, PD-L1, IFN-γ and SAG-1 expression in the placental and uterine tissues among the 12 dpn, 12 dpi, 18 dpn and 18 dpi groups (F = 22.48, 51.23, 9.61, 47.49, 16.08, 21.52, 28.66 and 238.90, all P < 0.05), and the PD-1, PD - L1, IFN - γ and SAG - 1 expression was all significantly higher in the placental and uterine tissues of mice in the 12 dpi group than in the 12 dpn group (all P values < 0.05). The PD-1 and PD-L1 expression was significantly lower in the placental tissues of mice in the 18 dpi group than in the 18 dpn group (all P values < 0.05), and the IFN-γ and SAG-1 expression was significantly higher in the placental and uterine tissues of mice in the 18 dpi group than in the 18 dpn group (all P values < 0.05), while the PD-1 and PD-L1 expression was significantly lower in the placental and uterine tissues of mice in the 18 dpi group than in the 12 dpi group (all P values < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining showed PD-1 expression in the inflammatory cells of the placental tissues of mice in the 12 dpi group, and no apparent PD-1 expression in the 18 dpi group, while strongly positive PD-1 expression was found in the uterine epithelium of mice in the 12 dpi group, and mildly strong expression was in the 18 dpi group. In addition, the IFN-γ mRNA expression was positively correlated with the PD-1 mRNA expression in placental (rs = 0.99, P < 0.01) and uterine tissues of mice in the 12 dpi group (rs = 0.97, P < 0.01) and in placental (rs = 0.82, P < 0.01) and uterine tissues of mice in the 18 dpi group (rs = 0.81, P < 0.01). Conclusions Following T. gondii infection at early pregnancy, the PD-1 and PD-L1 expression shows a remarkable rise at middle pregnancy and a reduction at late pregnancy in placental and uterine tissues of mice, which appears the same tendency with IFN-γ expression during the same time period, and PD-1 expression positively correlates with IFN-γ expression. The dynamic expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 on the maternal-fetal interface of mice may be mutually mediated by IFN-γ induced by T. gondii infection.

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