Introduction: Primary infertility, miscarriage, and preeclampsia have been correlated with reduced numbers of regulatory T-cells (T-reg) suggesting that decreased extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invasion originates from inadequate EVT tolerance. In contrast increased numbers of T-reg-cells may be responsible for over-invasion of EVT. As the maturation status of dendritic cells (DC) influences T-cell behavior (tolerance or immune activation), altered relation between immature and mature DCs may also influence EVT invasion. Method: Paraffin-embedded specimens of placenta accreta/increta (Pc; n = 11) and healthy intrauterine pregnancy (IUG; n = 18) were double-stained for cytokeratin and CD45, CD68, CD56, CD20, CD3, or CD8 as well as FoxP3/CD4 and FoxP3/CD8 and single-stained for CD4, CD25, FoxP3, CD209, Dec205 and CD83. Quantification of the leukocyte subpopulations was performed for decidua parietalis and basalis as characterized by cytokeratin-positive EVT. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Mann-Whitney test. Result: There were significantly fewer CD4+ cells in Pc than in IUG. Concerning the T-reg-markers, FoxP3(+) cells are significantly increased. CD25(+) cells showed a small non-significant increase in Pc in comparison to IUG. Concerning dendritic cells, immature non-activated CD209(+) DCs were significantly decreased in Pc while immature activated CD205(+) DCs were slightly but non-significantly increased. Mature activated CD83(+) DC were non-significantly decreased in IUG vs Pc. Discussion and conclusion: The increased number of T-reg-cells in Pc suggests significance for these cells in the regulation of trophoblast invasion. Their adequate interaction with other lymphocyte populations (e.g. adequately maturated dendritic cells) may be one mechanism to assure controlled EVT invasion.
- Extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invasion
- Placenta accreta/increta (Pc)
- Regulatory T-cell (T-reg)
- Dendritic cell (DC)