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Schrader, Svenja; Unverdorben, Laura; Hutter, Stefan; Knabl, Julia; Schmoeckel, Elisa; Meister, Sarah; Zehni, Alaleh Zati; Beyer, Susanne; Vilsmaier, Theresa; Mahner, Sven; Jeschke, Udo; Kolben, Thomas; Buschmann, Christina and Keilmann, Lucia (2022): Overexpression of galectin-4 in placentas of women with gestational diabetes. In: Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Vol. 151, 103629

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Objective: Galectins are known for their immunomodulatory functions in placentas. They are associated with pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia, HELLP-Syndrome and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). In addition, galectins seem to be overexpressed in placentas of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Study design: The collective consisted of 40 women diagnosed with GDM and 40 healthy expectant mothers. The expression of Gal-4 was investigated in syncytiotrophoblast (SCT), representing the fetal part of the placenta, and decidual tissues, representing the maternal part of the placenta, by immunohistochemistry and immunofluo-rescence double staining. Expression levels were evaluated using the immunoreactive score (IRS). Results: Nuclear IRS of Gal-4 is significantly higher in SCT cells of placentas of expectant mothers diagnosed with GDM. Overexpression of Gal-4 observed in the decidua of women with GDM by significant higher nuclear and cytoplasmatic IRS of Gal-4. Multivariate regression showed that Gal-4 is significantly overexpressed in the nucleus of SCTs and cytoplasm of decidual cells of placentas with GDM. GDM could be identified as a significant predictor for both cases. Conclusion: The results of this study provide further evidence for the involvement of galectins in the processes of chronic inflammation throughout a pregnancy with GDM. These findings are also in line with the known overexpression of galectin-1 in placental tissues of GDM women. Further evaluation of the role of galectins in this process is warranted.

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