The transforming growth factor-β superfamily cytokine macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 is present in high concentrations in the serum of pregnant women

A. G. Moore, D. A. Brown, W. D. Fairlie, A. R. Bauskin, P. K. Brown, M. L.C. Munier, P. K. Russell, L. A. Salamonsen, E. M. Wallace, S. N. Breit

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Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) is a recently described divergent member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily. MIC-1 transcription up-regulation is associated with macrophage activation, and this observation led to its cloning. Northern blots indicate that MIC-1 is also present in human placenta. A sensitive sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantification of MIC-1 was developed and used to examine the role of this cytokine in pregnancy. High levels of MIC-1 are present in the sera of pregnant women. The level rises substantially with progress of gestation. MIC-1 can also be detected, in large amounts, in amniotic fluid and placental extracts. In addition, the BeWo placental trophoblastic cell line was found to constitutively express the MIC-1 transcript and secrete large amounts of MIC-1. These findings suggest that the placental trophoblast is a major source of the MIC-1 present in maternal serum and amniotic fluid. We suggest that MIC-1 may promote fetal survival by suppressing the production of maternally derived proinflammatory cytokines within the uterus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4781-4788
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000

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