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Guenther, Sabine; Vrekoussis, Thomas; Heublein, Sabine; Bayer, Birgit; Anz, David; Knabl, Julia; Navrozoglou, Iordanis; Dian, Darius; Friese, Klaus; Makrigiannakis, Antonis and Jeschke, Udo (23. July 2012): Decidual Macrophages Are Significantly Increased in Spontaneous Miscarriages and Over-Express FasL. A Potential Role for Macrophages in Trophoblast Apoptosis. In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 7: pp. 9069-9080 [PDF, 9MB]

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Decidual macrophages (DM) are the second most abundant population in the fetal-maternal interface. Their role has been so far identified as being local immuno-modulators favoring the maternal tolerance to the fetus. Herein we investigated tissue samples from 11 cases of spontaneous miscarriages and from 9 cases of elective terminations of pregnancy. Using immunohistochemistry and dual immunofluorescence we have demonstrated that in spontaneous miscarriages the DM are significantly increased. Additionally, we noted a significant up-regulation of macrophage FasL expression. Our results further support a dual role for DM during pregnancy and miscarriages. We hypothesize that the baseline DM population in normal pregnancy is in line with an M2 phenotype supporting the ongoing gestation. In contrast, during spontaneous miscarriages, the increased FasL-expressing population could be a part of an M1 phenotype participating in Fas/FasL-related apoptosis. Our results highlight a new aspect of macrophage biology in pregnancy physiology and pathophysiology. Further studies with larger samples are needed to verify the current results and evaluate their clinical impact.

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