The role of tumor necrosis factor in triggering activation of natural killer cell, multi-organ mitochondrial dysfunction and hypertension during pregnancy

Aswathi Jayaram, Evangeline Deer, Lorena M. Amaral, Nathan Campbell, Venkata Ramana Vaka, Mark Cunningham, Tarek Ibrahim, Denise C. Cornelius, Babbette B. LaMarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy associated with chronic inflammation, mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction and fetal demise. Natural Killer cells (NK cells) are critical for the innate immune response against tumors or infection by disrupting cellular mt function and causing cell death. Although NK cells can be stimulated by Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), we don't know the role of TNF-α on NK cell mediated mt dysfunction during PE. Our objective was to determine if mechanisms of TNF-α induced hypertension included activation of NK cells and multi-organ mt dysfunction during pregnancy. Pregnant rats were divided into 2 groups: normal pregnant (NP) (n = 18) and NP + TNF-α (n = 18). On gestational day 14, TNF-α (50 ng/ml) was infused via mini-osmotic pump and on day 18, carotid artery catheters were inserted. Blood pressure (MAP) and samples were collected on day 19. TNF-α increased MAP (109 ± 2 vs 100 ± 2, p < 0.05), circulating cytolytic NK cells (0.771 ± 0.328 vs.0.008 ± 0.003% gated, <0.05) and fetal reabsorptions compared to NP rats. Moreover, TNF-α caused mtROS in the placenta (12976 ± 7038 vs 176.9 ± 68.04% fold, p < 0.05) and in the kidney (2191 ± 1027 vs 816 ± 454.7% fold, p < 0.05) compared to NP rats. TNF-α induced hypertension is associated fetal demise, activation of NK cells and multi-organ mt dysfunction which could be mechanisms for fetal demise and hypertension. Understanding of the mechanisms by which TNF-α causes pathology is important for the use of anti-TNF-α therapeutic agents in pregnancies complicated by PE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalPregnancy Hypertension
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Cytokines
  • Fetal demise
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pregnancy

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