Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enzyme findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia

Date:
January 4, 2011
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Researchers have found that a significant increase of an enzyme in the blood vessels of pregnant women with preeclampsia may explain some of the symptoms associated with the condition, including hypertension, swelling and protein in the urine.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have found that a significant increase of an enzyme in the blood vessels of pregnant women with preeclampsia may explain some of the symptoms associated with the condition, including hypertension, swelling and protein in the urine.

The findings could lead to a treatment for pregnant women with preeclampsia, which is one of the most significant health problems in pregnancy and a leading cause worldwide of both premature delivery and of sickness and death of the mother and baby.

Preeclampsia, a condition which occurs in one out of 20 pregnancies, is diagnosed when the mother develops high blood pressure and starts losing protein in her urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Research has shown that the blood vessels of women with preeclampsia are dysfunctional, but the cause of preeclampsia is not known, and the only treatment is delivery of the baby.

In a study published in the January issue of The American Journal of Pathology, the VCU team reported a significant increase in an enzyme called MMP-1 in blood vessels of women with preeclampsia and an imbalance in collagen-regulating genes that favored the breakdown of collagen. MMP-1 is an enzyme produced in tissues under conditions of inflammation that acts to break down collagen.

"The increase in MMP-1 that we found would compromise the integrity of the mother's blood vessels, which could explain two of the clinical symptoms of preeclampsia -- edema and proteinuria," said corresponding author Scott Walsh, Ph.D., professor in the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The swelling experienced by pregnant women with preeclampsia is due to edema, which is a leakage of protein out of the blood vessels into surrounding tissues. Proteinuria is a leakage of protein through the blood vessels of the kidney and into the urine.

The team also found that MMP-1 causes blood vessel contraction by activation of a receptor known as PAR1, which according to Walsh, could explain the hypertension, or high blood pressure, of women with preeclampsia.

"This finding may be especially important for preeclampsia because we found increased amounts of PAR1 in blood vessels of preeclamptic women as compared to normal pregnant women. MMP-1 activation of PAR1 is a totally new mechanism to explain hypertension," Walsh said.

PAR1 is best known for its role in the coagulation of blood, but it is not known for a role in hypertension, said Walsh.

Further, the team showed that neutrophils, or white blood cells, and neutrophil products increase MMP-1 and PAR1. According to Walsh, neutrophil infiltration may be the cause of the increase in MMP-1 and PAR1 in blood vessels that leads to vessel dysfunction and clinical symptoms of preeclampsia.

"Activation of the PAR1 receptor by MMP-1 causes changes in the endothelial cells of blood vessels that we speculated could result in contraction of blood vessels. This new information provides a rationale for the use of PAR1 inhibitors to treat preeclampsia," said Walsh.

This work was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Fogarty International.

Walsh collaborated with said Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine; Guadalupe Estrada-Guitierrez, Ph.D., Fogarty Scholar with the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Instituto Nacional de Perinatologia in Mexico City, Mexico; Renato Cappello, Ph.D., with the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Nikita Mishra Ph.D., with the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Physiology and Biophysics; Roberto Romero, Ph.D., Chief Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD/NIH, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University/Hutzel Hospital, Detroit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Enzyme findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104134037.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2011, January 4). Enzyme findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104134037.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Enzyme findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104134037.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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