Circulatory neutrophils exhibit enhanced neutrophil extracellular trap formation in early puerperium: NETs at the nexus of thrombosis and immunity

Stavros Giaglis, Chanchal Sur Chowdhury, Shane Vontelin van Breda, Maria Stoikou, André N. Tiaden, Douglas Daoudlarian, Guenther Schaefer, Andreas Buser, Ulrich A. Walker, Olav Lapaire, Irene Hoesli, Paul Hasler, Sinuhe Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pregnancy is associated with elevated maternal levels of cell-free DNA of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) origin, as circulatory neutrophils exhibit increased spontaneous NET formation, mainly driven by G-CSF and finely modulated by sex hormones. The postpartum period, on the other hand, involves physiological alterations consistent with the need for protection against infections and fatal haemorrhage. Our findings indicate that all relevant serum markers of neutrophil degranulation and NET release are substantially augmented postpartum. Neutrophil pro-NETotic activity in vitro is also upregulated particularly in post-delivery neutrophils. Moreover, maternal puerperal neutrophils exhibit a strong pro-NETotic phenotype, associated with increased levels of all key players in the generation of NETs, namely citH3, MPO, NE, and ROS, compared to non-pregnant and pregnant controls. Intriguingly, post-delivery NET formation is independent of G-CSF in contrast to late gestation and complemented by the presence of TF on the NETs, alterations in the platelet activity status, and activation of the coagulation cascade, triggered by circulating microparticles. Taken together, our results reveal the highly pro-NETotic and potentially procoagulant nature of postpartum neutrophils, bridging an overt immune activation with possible harmful thrombotic incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13646
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume22
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Keywords

  • Activation
  • Coagulation
  • NETosis
  • Neutrophils
  • Postpartum
  • Sensitization

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