Angiogenic factors and the lectin pathway of complement in women with secondary recurrent pregnancy loss

M C Krog*, E M Flachs, A M Kolte, W de Jager, L Meyaard, O B Christiansen, R Steffensen, K Vomstein, P Garred, H S Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work


The poor remodeling of placental spiral arteries seen in preeclampsia is also discussed to contribute to recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) preceded by abnormal angiogenesis and excessive complement activation. Low levels of Mannose-binding-lectin (MBL), a pattern recognition molecule (PRM) of the lectin pathway, have been found in women with RPL. We propose that pregnancy loss is connected to defective angiogenesis with reperfusion damage in the placenta and decreased levels of PRM in the lectin pathway in women with RPL. In this cohort study, we investigate the angiogenic factors and the lectin complement pathway in early pregnancy and their time-dependent relationship with pregnancy outcomes in 76 women with secondary RPL (sRPL) who have at least four prior pregnancy losses and a live birth. We evaluated levels of Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), and the PRMs, MBL, ficolin-1, -2, -3 and an additional soluble PRM, Pentraxin-3, during the 5th, 6th, and 7th gestational weeks. Our results showed that, compared to live births, pregnancies that ended in loss were associated with elevated VEGF levels and decreased levels of the Ang-2/Ang-1 ratio. Also, increasing levels of ficolin-2 were significantly associated with pregnancy loss, with MBL showing no association. Our research suggests that women with sRPL may have inadequate placentation with impaired angiogenesis in pregnancies ending in a loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104221
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Angiogenesis
  • Complement system
  • Poor placentation
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • The lectin pathway


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