Vikki M. Abrahams

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Evidence suggests that an inflammatory profile of cytokines and chemokines persisting at a particular site would lead to the development of a chronic disease. Recent studies implicate bacterial infection as one possible link between inflammation and carcinogenesis; however, the crucial molecular pathways involved remain unknown. We hypothesized that one(More)
The concept that pregnancy is associated with immune suppression has created a myth of pregnancy as a state of immunological weakness and, therefore, of increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. A challenging question is whether the maternal immune system is a friend or a foe of pregnancy. In this review, we discuss data associated to the role of the(More)
PROBLEM Macrophages are one of the first immune cells observed at the implantation site. Their presence has been explained as the result of an immune response toward paternal antigens. The mechanisms regulating monocyte migration and differentiation at the implantation site are largely unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that trophoblast cells(More)
Apoptosis is important for normal placental development, but it may also be involved in the pathophysiology of pregnancy-related diseases. Normal placental development is dependent upon the differentiation and invasion of the trophoblast, the main cellular component of the placenta. Trophoblast apoptosis increases in normal placentas as gestation proceeds,(More)
PROBLEM Women with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are at risk for recurrent miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, and pre-term labor. aPL target the placenta directly by binding to beta(2)-glycoprotein I (beta(2)GPI) expressed on the surface of trophoblast cells. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of aPL on trophoblast function and the(More)
PROBLEM Preeclampsia is associated with hyperuricemia, which correlates with the disease severity. Levels of circulating uric acid increase before the clinical manifestations, suggesting that they may be causally related. Uric acid, or monosodium urate (MSU), activates the Nod-like receptor, Nalp3, leading to inflammasome activation and IL-1β processing.(More)
Since the invading trophoblast represents a semi-allograft, it should be rejected by the mother. It has, therefore, been postulated that during normal pregnancy the trophoblast evades the maternal immune system though the establishment of immune privilege by triggering the death of activated lymphocytes which may be sensitized to paternal alloantigens. Such(More)
Intrauterine infections have been associated with pregnancy complications that are also linked with increased trophoblast apoptosis. TLRs are key components of the innate immune system which recognize conserved sequences on the surface of pathogens and trigger effector cell functions. We hypothesize that intrauterine infections may cause the excessive(More)
PROBLEM Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize conserved sequences on the surface of pathogens and trigger effector cell functions. Previously, we described the expression of TLR3 by human trophoblast and their ability to respond to (Poly[I:C]). Here we evaluate the effect of Poly[I:C] on mouse pregnancy and characterize the local and systemic response. (More)
OBJECTIVE Chemokines initiate the immune response by controlling leukocyte migration and lymphocyte development. Macrophage infiltration of the decidua has been implicated in the genesis of recurrent miscarriage and preeclampsia. Therefore, we determined whether cultured human decidual cells produce monocyte/macrophage-recruiting chemokines in response to a(More)