Maternal Th17/Treg Cytokines and Small Extracellular Vesicles in Plasma as Potential Biomarkers for Preeclampsia

Han Yu Chen, Xin Yu Wang, Ke Ming Lu, Chen Hsiang Yu, Mei Tsz Su, Lin Kang, Keng Fu Hsu, Po Fan Chen, Sheng Hsiang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Preeclampsia is one of the most serious pregnancy complications. It may be caused by immunological changes in the early placental microenvironment. The contents of small EVs may serve as biomarkers of pregnancy complications. Evidence suggests that the balance between T helper 17 (Th17) and regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical for preventing preeclampsia. The study recruited 39 pregnant women with preeclampsia and 127 healthy pregnant women. We assessed the levels of both Th17 and Treg cytokines (IL-10, IL-17, IL-21, IL-22, and TGF-β) in their plasma and small EVs. We found significant differences in the levels of all cytokines in the plasma between the two groups during the second trimester. We also observed significant differences between the two groups in the levels of EV-encapsulated cytokines IL-21, IL-22, and TGF-β, as well as in total small EVs, during the second trimester. The ROC analysis showed that the classification efficiency (AUC) of TGF-β in small EVs was 0.81. TGF-β had the best discriminant ability of all the single EV biomarkers tested, the cross-validation of the accuracy was 0.89. Th17 and Treg cytokines in plasma and small EVs may contribute to maternal immune activation and clarify the potential mechanisms of small EVs and cytokines in preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1672-1679
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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