Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blessing in disguise: Factors that cause a high blood pressure condition in pregnant women protect against breast cancer

Date:
April 28, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
One researcher is investigating how specific factors released from the placenta of women with preeclampsia inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells.

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure syndrome in pregnant mothers that is caused when the blood supply in the placenta of the developing baby is restricted. The blood-deprived placenta releases factors that cause the raise in blood pressure in the mother. Doctors have to monitor these women closely and they may be forced to deliver the baby early to protect the mother and the baby. Most women's blood pressure returns to normal levels after they deliver the placenta.

A Risk With Benefits

Women that develop preeclampsia paradoxically seem to have reduced incidence of developing breast cancer. But why this serious condition may have other beneficial effects is unknown.

Anne Gingery of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, MN, has investigated how specific factors released from the placenta of women with preeclampsia inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Gingery is presenting her latest findings at the 2010 Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, CA from April 24-28. Her presentation is entitled "Soluble Endoglin Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation."

Dr. Gingery's research uses a rat model with preeclampsia, which they induce by restricting the blood flow to the rat's placenta with clips. The placenta has many blood vessels, so the factors released during preeclampsia end up in the blood stream. The serum -- what is left after the cells are filtered out of the blood -- of these animals possesses anti-cancer properties. Gingery tested an array of breast cancer cells treated with the serum that resulted in decreased growth of cancer cells.

The Factors Involved

Gingery studies two factors released during preeclampsia: sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin. sFlt-1 is a soluble version of a protein called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which regulates the growth of cells. The other factor, soluble endoglin, is a co-receptor for TGF-β (transforming growth factor beta). The TGF-β pathway controls growth and Gingery proposes that soluble endoglin inhibits cell growth by reducing the signaling of this pathway. The TGF-β signaling pathway is an important factor in breast cancer development and progression. According to Gingery, at the early stages of cancer this pathway often suppresses tumor growth, but in advanced cancer it can actually promote cancer progression.

Things Are Complicated: The Factors Only Protect the Mothers

Gingery's work expanded to look at the pups born from mother rats with preeclampsia. Surprisingly, the preliminary results reveal that the pups born from the mother's with preeclampsia are more likely to develop breast tumors. The group is examining the time it takes to develop tumors and the characteristics of the tumors. On-going research is evaluating whether the mothers with the preeclampsia will have a reduced incidence of breast tumors.

Gingery speculates that perhaps the factors released during preeclampsia affect the stem cells of the mammary gland in some way that changes how the cells develop, which may affect protection against cancer. But she reiterates that this research is in its early stages and much is still unknown.

By studying the affects of preeclampsia on the protection against breast cancer, Gingery hopes to identify new targets that can be used in prevention and the development of therapeutics. "Preeclampsia is not a condition we want any mother to endure," explains Gingery. "We are simply using a unique way to find factors to be used for care and treatment of cancer. Sometimes it just takes looking at a question differently."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Blessing in disguise: Factors that cause a high blood pressure condition in pregnant women protect against breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113100.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, April 28). Blessing in disguise: Factors that cause a high blood pressure condition in pregnant women protect against breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113100.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Blessing in disguise: Factors that cause a high blood pressure condition in pregnant women protect against breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426113100.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
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