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TLR9 Provokes Inflammation in Response to Fetal DNA

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TLR9 Provokes Inflammation in Response to Fetal DNA

Postby caryn » Tue May 01, 2012 05:29 pm

by caryn (10111 Posts), Tue May 01, 2012 05:29 pm

In this study, we show that circulating fetal DNA, which is elevated in pregnancies complicated by preterm labor or preeclampsia, triggers an inflammatory reaction that results in spontaneous preterm birth...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22544937

So this is an animal study, but we also have toll-like receptors - TLR9 stands for toll-like receptor 9 - so even though preeclampsia is a human disease this could still be a mechanism in play. Two very interesting things here: one, in the "knockout" mice, where they weren't expressing the relevant genes, fetal DNA did not trigger the inflammatory response. And two, chloroquine blocks the toll-like receptors in question.

Chloroquine is a very, very old malaria drug, and I know nothing about its use in pregnant women. IIRC it isn't used so much these days because malaria is now resistant to it...? Any lurking biologists/public health people please correct me!
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
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Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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