Virchows Archiv

, Volume 453, Issue 4, pp 387–400 | Cite as

Placental protein 13 (galectin-13) has decreased placental expression but increased shedding and maternal serum concentrations in patients presenting with preterm pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome

  • Nandor Gabor Than
  • Omar Abdul Rahman
  • Rita Magenheim
  • Balint Nagy
  • Tibor Fule
  • Beata Hargitai
  • Marei Sammar
  • Petronella Hupuczi
  • Adi L. Tarca
  • Gabor Szabo
  • Ilona Kovalszky
  • Hamutal Meiri
  • Istvan Sziller
  • Janos Rigo Jr.
  • Roberto Romero
  • Zoltan Papp
Original Article


Placental protein 13 (PP13) is a galectin expressed by the syncytiotrophoblast. Women who subsequently develop preterm pre-eclampsia have low first trimester maternal serum PP13 concentrations. This study revealed that third trimester maternal serum PP13 concentration increased with gestational age in normal pregnancies (p < 0.0001), and it was significantly higher in women presenting with preterm pre-eclampsia (p = 0.02) and hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome (p = 0.01) than in preterm controls. Conversely, placental PP13 mRNA (p = 0.03) and protein, as well as cytoplasmic PP13 staining of the syncytiotrophoblast (p < 0.05) was decreased in these pathological pregnancies compared to controls. No differences in placental expression and serum concentrations of PP13 were found at term between patients with pre-eclampsia and control women. In contrast, the immunoreactivity of the syncytiotrophoblast microvillous membrane was stronger in both term and preterm pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome than in controls. Moreover, large syncytial cytoplasm protrusions, membrane blebs and shed microparticles strongly stained for PP13 in pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. In conclusion, parallel to its decreased placental expression, an augmented membrane shedding of PP13 contributes to the increased third trimester maternal serum PP13 concentrations in women with preterm pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.


Brush border membrane Galectin Syncytiotrophoblast microparticle Trafficking Virtual microscopy 


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Copyright information

© US Government (NIH) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nandor Gabor Than
    • 1
    • 6
  • Omar Abdul Rahman
    • 2
  • Rita Magenheim
    • 3
  • Balint Nagy
    • 1
  • Tibor Fule
    • 4
  • Beata Hargitai
    • 4
  • Marei Sammar
    • 5
  • Petronella Hupuczi
    • 1
  • Adi L. Tarca
    • 6
  • Gabor Szabo
    • 1
  • Ilona Kovalszky
    • 4
  • Hamutal Meiri
    • 5
  • Istvan Sziller
    • 1
  • Janos Rigo Jr.
    • 1
  • Roberto Romero
    • 6
  • Zoltan Papp
    • 1
  1. 1.First Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Medical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and PathobiochemistrySemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  3. 3.First Department of Internal MedicineSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  4. 4.First Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer ResearchSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Diagnostic Technologies LtdYokneamIsrael
  6. 6.Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD/NIH/DHHSWayne State University/Hutzel Women’s HospitalDetroitUSA

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