The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians

Inflammation modulates LC3 expression in human preterm delivery.

PMID 27125211


Autophagy is an inducible intracellular process acting under stressor conditions, such as infections, inflammation and hypoxia. The aim of the present study was to analyze autophagy expression in preterm delivered human placenta. Autophagy marker LC3 was analyzed in 25 consecutive human placentas delivered before 34 weeks of gestation, analyzed by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time PCR, according to the histologic classification of preterm delivery (PTD) (cases with or without placental inflammatory lesions). LC3 expression was observed both in cases with and without inflammatory lesions. In cases with histological inflammation, strong immunoreactivity for LC3 autophagic marker was observed in the inflammatory cell infiltration composed by neutrophils. In all PTD cases, trophoblastic cells in chorion laeve express LC3, with variable staining intensity: a significant reduction of LC3 expression was observed in chorion laeve of PTD with histological inflammation compared to PTD without inflammatory lesions. Moreover, the decrement of LC3 staining was observed to be associated to the increasing severity of the histological signs of fetal inflammatory response. Our data show that the expression of LC3 varies depending on different histological features, indicating an interesting and possibly clinically relevant relation between autophagy expression levels and the inflammatory status.