Peripheral polymorphonuclear leukocyte priming contributes to oxidative stress in early pregnancy

V. Fait, S. Sela, E. Ophir, H. Kreutzer, O. Shnaider, A. Perri, N. Khatib, G. Dourleshter, R. Tendler, J. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The cause of elevated blood leukocyte count in pregnancy is unknown. We hypothesized that priming of peripheral polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) caused this elevation. Eleven women in the first trimester of pregnancy were included in this prospective study. Peripheral venous blood was drawn twice from each woman, before and after a medical abortion (pregnant and nonpregnant, respectively). Complete blood cell count, plasma alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and rate of superoxide release from separated phobrol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)-stimulated PMNL were determined. The PMNL count in early pregnancy was significantly higher, with a significant increase in the PMNL rate of superoxide release compared to the nonpregnant state. A linear correlation between the rates of superoxide release and PMNL counts before and during pregnancy was found. ALP levels were significantly elevated in early pregnancy. The increased PMNL count is probably a compensatory response to PMNL priming. The increased rate of superoxide release from primed PMNL may contribute to oxidative stress in early pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-49
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Oxidative stress
  • alkaline phosphatase
  • peripheral polymorphonuclear leukocytes
  • pregnancy


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