Anti-phospholipid antibody mediated fetal loss: Still an open question from a pathogenic point of view

P. L. Meroni, F. Tedesco, M. Locati, A. Vecchi, N. Di Simone, B. Acaia, S. S. Pierangeli, M. O. Borghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are associated with recurrent miscarriages and pregnancy complications, however their pathogenic mechanisms are still matter of research. Thrombotic events at the placental level cannot explain all of the clinical manifestations. It has been suggested that aPL may be responsible for a local acute inflammatory response mediated by complement activation and neutrophil infiltration eventually leading to fetal loss. However histological and immunohistological studies on human placental samples do support such a mechanism only in part and with no any clear relationship with the pregnancy outcome. A direct effect of aPL on both maternal and fetal placental tissues has been reported through the reactivity of the antibodies with beta2 glycoprotein I (β2GPI) expressed on the cell membranes. These events do not require an inflammatory response and can be in part related to the inhibition of growth factors favouring a physiological placentation. Understanding the different pathogenic mechanisms of aPL-associated miscarriages may help in improving our therapeutic approach particularly in recurrent cases not responsive to the usual treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-456
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Complement
  • Fetal loss
  • Growth factor
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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