Essential Role of Complement in Pregnancy: From Implantation to Parturition and Beyond

Guillermina Girardi, Joshua J. Lingo, Sherry D. Fleming, Jean F. Regal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The complement cascade was identified over 100 years ago, yet investigation of its role in pregnancy remains an area of intense research. Complement inhibitors at the maternal-fetal interface prevent inappropriate complement activation to protect the fetus. However, this versatile proteolytic cascade also favorably influences numerous stages of pregnancy, including implantation, fetal development, and labor. Inappropriate complement activation in pregnancy can have adverse lifelong sequelae for both mother and child. This review summarizes the current understanding of complement activation during all stages of pregnancy. In addition, consequences of complement dysregulation during adverse pregnancy outcomes from miscarriage, preeclampsia, and pre-term birth are examined. Finally, future research directions into complement activation during pregnancy are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1681
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 31 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. This work was supported in part by TheirWorld and Tommy's (GG), American Heart Association 17GRNT33650049 (JR and SF), NIH R21HD100840 (JR), Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from NIH P20GM103418 (JL and SF), and the Defense Medical Research and Development Program under Award No. W81XWH-18-1-0716 (SF). Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense or National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by TheirWorld and Tommy’s (GG), American Heart Association 17GRNT33650049 (JR and SF), NIH R21HD100840 (JR), Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from NIH P20GM103418 (JL and SF), and the Defense Medical Research and Development Program under Award No. W81XWH-18-1-0716 (SF). Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense or National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Girardi, Lingo, Fleming and Regal.

Keywords

  • complement
  • fetal development
  • innate immunity
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy loss
  • preterm birth

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