Investigation of interleukin-2-mediated changes in blood pressure, fetal growth restriction, and innate immune activation in normal pregnant rats and in a preclinical rat model of preeclampsia

Mark W. Cunningham, Lorena M. Amaral, Nathan E. Campbell, Denise C. Cornelius, Tarek Ibrahim, Venkata Ramana Vaka, Babbette LaMarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two important clinical features of preeclampsia (PE) are hypertension and fetal growth restriction. The reduced uterine perfusion pressure (RUPP) preclinical rat model of PE exhibits both of these features. Moreover, RUPP and PE women have elevated vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1 (ET-1) and inflammation. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a cytokine that regulates NK cell activity and is elevated in miscarriage, PE, and RUPP rats. The objective of this study was to examine a role for IL-2 in NK cell activation, fetal growth restriction, and hypertension during pregnancy by either infusion of IL-2 or blockade of IL-2 (basiliximab) in normal pregnant (NP) and RUPP rats. On gestational day 14, NP and RUPP rats received low (LD), middle (MD), or high dose (HD) IL-2 (0.05, 0.10, or 0.20 ng/ml) IP or basiliximab (0.07 mg per rat) by IV infusion. On day 19, blood pressure (MAP), pup weights, and blood were collected. Basiliximab had no effect on blood pressure, however, significantly lowered NK cells and may have worsened overall fetal survival in RUPP rats. However, IL-2 LD (102 ± 4 mmHg) and IL-2 HD (105 ± 6 mmHg) significantly lowered blood pressure, ET-1, and activated NK cells compared to control RUPPs (124 ± 3 mmHg, p < 0.05). Importantly, IL-2 in RUPP rats significantly reduced fetal weight and survival. These data indicate that although maternal benefits may have occurred with low dose IL-2 infusion, negative effects were seen in the fetus. Moreover, inhibition of IL-2 signaling did not have favorable outcome for the mother or fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalBiology of Sex Differences
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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