Annexin (Anx) V is pivotal in the maintenance of pregnancy by preventing the activation of blood coagulation. The homology of the amino acid sequence between Anx IV and Anx V is highest in Anx family proteins. However, little is known about the roles of Anx IV in pregnancy. The aim of this study is to clarify the roles of circulating Anx IV and Anx V in normal pregnancy. Subjects were non-pregnant women (n = 50), 120 pregnant women, and maternal subjects just after delivery (n = 53) or postpartum (n = 67). Anx IV in the plasma of non-pregnant women was at a concentration 20 times that of Anx V. The plasma levels of Anx IV suddenly increase after delivery, but Anx V levels remain low during this period. Anx IV and Anx V exert similar levels of anticoagulant activity. Anx IV protein was expressed on the basal surface of syncytiotrophoblasts; Anx V protein, on the apical surface of syncytiotrophoblasts. These results suggest that Anx IV enters the maternal bloodstream just after delivery and might play a role in preventing disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, and that Anx V helps to prevent clotting in the placenta during pregnancy.
- Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC)
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