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 September 20, 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 September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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