Evidence of Placental Villous Inflammation and Apoptosis in Third-Trimester Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Maternal Infection.

Publication date: Apr 01, 2024

In view of conflicting reports on the ability of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) to infect placental tissue, this study aimed to further evaluate the impact of inflammation and placental damage from symptomatic third-trimester maternal COVID-19 infection. This case-control study included 32 placenta samples each from symptomatic COVID-19 pregnancy and normal non-COVID-19 pregnancy. The villous placental area’s inflammatory expression [angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2), transmembrane protease serine-2 (TMPRSS2), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein] and apoptotic rate were examined using immunohistochemistry and Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay. Comparison and correlation analysis were used based on COVID-19 infection, placental SARS-CoV-2 spike protein evidence, and maternal severity status. Higher expressions of TMPRSS2, IFN-γ, and trophoblast apoptotic rate were observed in the COVID-19 group (p0. 05). Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was detected in 8 (25%) placental samples of COVID-19 pregnancy. COVID-19 subgroup analysis revealed increased IFN-γ, trophoblast, and stromal apoptosis (p

Concepts Keywords
Apoptosis apoptosis
Coronavirus COVID-19
Covid inflammation
Immunohistochemistry placenta
Normal pregnancy


Type Source Name
disease MESH Inflammation
pathway KEGG Apoptosis
disease MESH Infection
disease MESH COVID-19
drug DRUGBANK Angiotensin II
drug DRUGBANK Serine
disease IDO assay
disease MESH Long Covid

Original Article

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