The thyroid hormone, 3,3,5-triiodo-L-thyronine (T3), modulates several physiological processes, including cellular growth, differentiation, metabolism, inflammation and proliferation, via interactions with thyroid hormone response elements (TREs) in the regulatory regions of target genes. Infection and inflammation are critical processes in placental development and pregnancy-related diseases. In particular, infection is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity worldwide. However, to date, no successful approach has been developed for the effective diagnosis of infection in preterm infants. Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a serious disorder that adversely affects ~5% of human pregnancies. Recent studies identified a multiprotein complex, the inflammasome, including the Nod-like receptor (NLR) family of cytosolic pattern recognition receptors, the adaptor protein apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and caspase-1, which plays a vital role in the placenta. The thyroid hormone modulates inflammation processes and is additionally implicated in placental development and disease. Therefore, elucidation of thyroid hormone receptor-regulated inflammation-related molecules, and their underlying mechanisms in placenta, should facilitate the identification of novel predictive and therapeutic targets for placental disorders. This review provides a detailed summary of current knowledge with respect to identification of useful biomarkers and their physiological significance in placenta.
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