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New Research On Pre-eclampsia In Mice May Have Important Implications For Humans

Date:
July 28, 2008
Source:
March of Dimes Foundation
Summary:
Researchers studying pre-eclampsia, a serious and potentially deadly disorder that affects about 5 percent of pregnancies, report new findings in mice that may have important implications for diagnosis and treatment in humans.

In a new March of Dimes-funded study of pre-eclampsia, a serious and potentially deadly disorder that affects about 5 percent of pregnancies, researchers have found results in mice that may have important implications for diagnosis and treatment in humans.

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Yang Xia, M.D., Ph.D., and Rodney E. Kellems, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and Susan M. Ramin, M.D., Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, all at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, and colleagues report today in the journal Nature Medicine that they induced pre-eclampsia in mice by injecting them with certain human autoantibodies that have been found in women with pre-eclampsia. The mice showed multiple features of the disorder, including dangerously high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and placental abnormalities. Then the researchers gave the mice a substance that blocks the action of the autoantibodies; this prevented the development of pre-eclampsia.

The investigators say they demonstrated an important pathway of pre-eclampsia as well as a potential new approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Pre-eclampsia may require pre-term delivery (birth before 37 completed weeks gestation) to prevent severe complications to mother and baby, because delivery is the only cure for the disorder.

Preterm birth is a serious and costly health problem and the leading cause of death in the first month of life. More than a half million babies – one out of every eight – are born too soon each year in the United States. Babies who survive face the risk of serious life-long health problems including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss, and other chronic conditions including asthma. Even infants born just a few weeks too soon have a greater risk of breathing problems, feeding difficulties, temperature instability (hypothermia), jaundice and delayed brain development.

The March of Dimes also is helping to support a large World Health Organization study to evaluate whether a new screening test is in fact a reliable predictor of the development of pre-eclampsia, as well as the feasibility of doing testing in developing nations where pre-eclampsia causes a significant number of deaths among pregnant women and babies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by March of Dimes Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhou et al. Angiotensin receptor agonistic autoantibodies induce pre-eclampsia in pregnant mice. Nature Medicine, 2008; DOI: 10.1038/nm.1856

Cite This Page:

March of Dimes Foundation. "New Research On Pre-eclampsia In Mice May Have Important Implications For Humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727224055.htm>.
March of Dimes Foundation. (2008, July 28). New Research On Pre-eclampsia In Mice May Have Important Implications For Humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727224055.htm
March of Dimes Foundation. "New Research On Pre-eclampsia In Mice May Have Important Implications For Humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727224055.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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