Evidence supporting that the excess of the sVEGFR-1 concentration in maternal plasma in preeclampsia has a uterine origin

Emmanuel Bujold, Roberto Romero, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Yeon Mee Kim, Gi Jin Kim, Mi Ran Kim, Jimmy Espinoza, Luis F. Gonçalves, Samuel Edwin, Moshe Mazor

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    90 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background. Preeclampsia has been considered an anti-angiogenic state. Two factors have been implicated in the genesis of this state: soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) and placental growth factor (PlGF). Indeed, the concentrations of PlGF, an angiogenic factor, are lower in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy, while the opposite is the case for the anti-angiogenic factor, sVEGFR-1. The source of the excess sVEGFR-1 has not yet been determined. Since the placenta could be a source of sVEGFR-1, we conducted a study to determine whether there is a gradient in the plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 and PlGF between the uterine vein and the antecubital vein in both patients with preeclampsia and normal pregnant women. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed to determine the plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-1 and PlGF in the uterine and antecubital vein of patients with preeclampsia (n = 9) and normal pregnant women at term (n = 9). Plasma samples were collected from antecubital and uterine veins at the time of cesarean section. The concentrations of sVEGFR-1 and PlGF were determined using specific enzyme-linked immunoassays. The differences of plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-1 and PlGF between uterine and antecubital veins in both groups were compared by paired t-tests. Results. Patients with preeclampsia had a significantly higher mean plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 in the uterine vein than in the antecubital vein (uterine vein: mean 13,675 ± 5,684 pg/ml vs. antecubital vein: mean 10,234 ± 4,700 pg/ml; paired t-tests, p = 0.04). In contrast, among normal pregnant women at term, there was no significant difference in plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-1 between the uterine and antecubital veins (uterine vein: mean 1,918 ± 665 pg/ml vs. antecubital vein: mean 1,750 ± 475 pg/ml; paired t-tests, p = 0.1). The mean plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1, either in the antecubital or uterine vein, was significantly higher in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy (unpaired t-tests; both p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the mean plasma concentration of PlGF between the uterine and the antecubital veins in both the preeclamptic (uterine vein, mean ± SD: 129 ± 106 pg/ml vs. antecubital vein, mean ± SD: 82 ± 43 pg/ml; paired t-tests, p = 0.2) and normal pregnancy groups (uterine vein, mean ± SD: 331 ± 254 pg/ml vs. antecubital vein, mean ± SD: 319 ± 259 pg/ml; paired t-tests, p = 0.4). The mean plasma concentration of PlGF, either in the uterine or antecubital vein, was lower in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy (unpaired t-tests; p = 0.008 and 0.02 respectively). Conclusions. Plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 was higher in the uterine vein than in the antecubital vein in women with preeclampsia. This provides evidence supporting the concept that the uterus is a potential source of the excess circulating sVEGFR-1 concentration in preeclamptic women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-16
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005

    Keywords

    • Angiogenesis
    • Placental growth factor (PlGF)
    • Preeclampsia
    • Soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1(sVEGFR-1)
    • Uterine vein

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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