Background: During the third trimester of pregnancy multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity is reduced. It is not fully understood which factors mediate this disease amelioration. Objective: To study alterations of the monocyte transcriptome during pregnancy in MS patients, using a genomewide approach to identify differentially regulated genes. Methods: Women with MS and healthy controls were longitudinally studied, including a visit before pregnancy. Results: RNA-microarray analysis was performed in six patients. We found a significant increase of CD64 (Fc gamma receptor 1a, FcgR1a) during the third trimester compared with baseline, confirmed by RT-PCR in a group of ten patients. Analysis with Ingenuity software was performed using all genes expression of which was altered at least 1.5-fold in at least five out of six patients. Major networks that were altered during MS pregnancy were: cell-to-cell signalling and interaction, immune response, and cell signalling. From the genes selected for Ingenuity analysis, seven additional candidate genes, selected for their biological interest, were tested using RT-PCR in ten patients with MS and nine controls. We found an increased expression of JAK2 and STAT1 directly postpartum in patients with MS and in controls. Conclusion: The increased CD64 expression during pregnancy is indicative of enhanced innate immune functions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords CD64, autoimmunity, immune tolerance, innate immunity, multiple sclerosis, pregnancy
Persistent URL,
Neuteboom, R.F, Verbraak, E, Wierenga-Wolf, A.F, Voerman, J.S, van Meurs, M, Swagemakers, S.M.A, … Hintzen, R.Q. (2011). The monocyte transcriptome during pregnancy in multiple sclerosis: Prominent expression of the Fc-receptor CD64. Multiple Sclerosis: clinical and laboratory research, 17(4), 389–396. doi:10.1177/1352458510389628