Open Access Research

Histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis of infectious agents, T-cell subpopulations and inflammatory adhesion molecules in placentas from HIV-seropositive pregnant women

Emanuele Baurakiades1, Ana PC Martins2, N Victor Moreschi2*, Camila DA Souza2, Karla Abujamra2, Augusto O Saito2, Maíra C Mecatti2, Mônica G Santos2, Camilla R Pimentel2, Larissa LG Silva3, Cristina R Cruz4 and Lucia de Noronha2

Author affiliations

1 Center of Health and Biological Sciences, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, (Imaculada Conceição), Curitiba, (80215-901), Brazil

2 Laboratory of Experimental Pathology of Center of Health and Biological Sciences, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, (Imaculada Conceição), Curitiba, (80215-901), Brazil

3 Pathological Anatomy Department, Universidade Federal do Paraná, (General Carneiro), Curitiba, (80060-900), Brazil

4 Pediatric Department, Institute: Universidade Federal do Paraná, (General Carneiro), Curitiba, (80060-900), Brazil

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:101  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-101

Published: 24 October 2011

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to compare histomorphometric changes and the results of immunohistochemical tests for VCAM, ICAM-1, CD4 and CD8 in normal placentas from HIV-seropositive pregnant women.

Methods

Samples of normal placentas were divided into 2 groups: healthy HIV-seronegative pregnant women (control group = C = 60) and HIV-seropositive women (experimental group = E = 57). Conventional histological sections were submitted to morphometric analysis and evaluated in terms of the immunohistochemical expression of ICAM-1, VCAM, CD4 and CD8.

Results

The villi in group E were smaller than those in group C. The median for the CD8+ T cell count was higher in group E than in group C (p = 0.03). Immunohistochemical expression of ICAM-1 was observed in 57% of the cases in group E, compared with 21% of those in group C (p = 0.001). There was no difference in VCAM expression or CD4+ cell counts between groups and no correlation between the data for antiretroviral therapy and morphometric or immunohistochemical data.

Conclusions

The morphometric data showed that placentas of HIV-seropositive pregnant women tend to have smaller villi than those of seronegative women. In addition, immunohistochemical testing for infectious agents helped to identify cases that were positive for microorganisms (6/112) that routine pathological examination had failed to detect. The anti-p24 antibody had a limited ability to detect HIV viral protein in this study (2/57). Correlation of immunohistochemical expression of CD8+ T cells and ICAM-1 with the presence of HIV in the placenta revealed that those expressions can act as biomarkers of inflammatory changes. There was no correlation between the data for antiretroviral therapy and morphometric or immunohistochemical data.

Keywords:
HIV; p24; CD4; CD8; ICAM; VCAM; placenta