Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Finding May Help Explain Development Of Preeclampsia

Date:
February 11, 2008
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
In a study of pregnant women, those with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure were found to have higher levels of a peptide that raises blood pressure in the pieces of tissue linking mother and fetus, according to researchers. The finding may help explain how the disorder develops.

In a study of pregnant women, those with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure were found to have higher levels of a peptide that raises blood pressure in the pieces of tissue linking mother and fetus, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The finding, reported online in the journal Hypertension, may help explain how the disorder develops.

Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure induced by pregnancy, affects 7 to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States and is the second-leading cause of maternal mortality. It is the leading cause of pre-term delivery and contributes significantly to stillbirths and death in newborns.

The researchers found that in women with preeclampsia, levels of angiotensin II (Ang II), a hormone that constricts blood vessels and causes blood pressure to rise, was doubled in the chorionic villi, part of the placenta that links mother and fetus and supplies food and oxygen.

"This finding may be part of the preeclampsia puzzle," said Lauren Anton, a graduate student who is first author on the research. "Anything that gets us closer to understanding this disease is important because there is no treatment and no cure and women are still delivering babies too early."

The researchers theorize that Ang II may restrict the fetal vessels that lie within the chorionic villi, which not only raises blood pressure, but also lowers oxygen and nutrient flow to the baby and may result in lower birth weight and other complications of preeclampsia.

The study involved 21 women with preeclampsia and 25 women without the disorder. After delivery, tissue sections were taken from the center of the placenta for analysis.

Ang II is part of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) that regulates blood pressure. The system has been shown to play an important role in preeclampsia. However, changes in the system also occur in women who don't develop the condition. In normal pregnancies, estrogen causes increased levels of several hormones, including Ang II, in the blood. Despite the increase of Ang II in the blood during pregnancy, most women do not develop preeclampsia.

This the first study to demonstrate that all three peptides involved in the RAS are found in the chorionic villi of both normal and preeclamptic women. And, it was the first to show that levels of Ang II are higher in the chorionic villi of women with preeclampsia.

"This implies that local tissues are contributing to the problem," said K. Bridget Brosnihan, Ph.D., senior researcher, who has been studying preeclampsia for 12 years. "The hormone is remarkably elevated in this relatively small tissue, which implies that it has an important role in the development of preeclampsia."

The researchers hope that the findings may one day lead to treatment for preeclampsia.

ACE inhibitor drugs are currently used to lower Ang II in non-pregnant women with hypertension, but these drugs cannot be given to pregnant women. The study authors suggest that other therapies aimed at regulating blood pressure might be beneficial if they target the chorionic villi rather than the system as a whole. They are currently working to determine if growth factors that cause the placenta's blood supply to develop may also be regulated by the increase in Ang II.

The study was supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. It was published in the Go Red issue of Hypertension that is dedicated to women's cardiovascular health.

Co-researchers are David Merrill, M.D., Ph.D., Liomar Neves, Ph.D., Kathryn Stovall, B.S., Patricia Gallagher, Ph.D., Debra Diz, Ph.D., Cheryl Moorefield, R.N., Courtney Gruver, R.N., and Carlos Ferrario, M.D., all with Wake Forest.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "New Finding May Help Explain Development Of Preeclampsia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080208101806.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2008, February 11). New Finding May Help Explain Development Of Preeclampsia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080208101806.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "New Finding May Help Explain Development Of Preeclampsia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080208101806.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins