The effects of magnesium sulfate on placental vascular endothelial growth factor expression in preeclampsia

Adi Y. Weintraub, Alaa Amash, Tamar Eshkoli, Esther Piltcher Haber, Bella Bronfenmacher, Eyal Sheiner, Gershon Holcberg, Mahmoud Huleihel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effect of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) on placental expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Materials and methods: Cotyledons of term normotensive and preeclamptic placentas were dually perfused for 6 h, with MgSO4 (6-7 mg%) in the maternal reservoir [normotensive (n = 3); preeclamptic (n = 4)] and with the control medium (without MgSO4) [normotensive (n = 3); preeclamptic (n = 6)]. After perfusion, placental tissue samples were collected from four different placental compartments (amnion, chorion, placental villous and decidua). The collected placental tissues were homogenized and examined for VEGF by ELISA. Statistical significance was determined using a two-way analysis of variance. Results: After perfusion with control medium, significantly lower levels of VEGF were detected in the chorion and placental villous compartments of preeclamptic placentas (70 ± 24 pg/g protein and 29 ± 11 pg/g protein; respectively), as compared with normotensive placentas (172 ± 80 pg/g protein and 51 ± 17 pg/g protein; respectively; p < 0.05). Exposure of preeclamptic placentas to MgSO4 resulted in decreased VEGF levels by the amnion (57 ± 26 pg/g protein), as compared with the control group (153 ± 62 pg/g protein) (p < 0.05). On the other hand, MgSO4 significantly increased VEGF levels by the placental villous and the decidua (58 ± 15 pg/g protein, 70 ± 29 pg/g protein; respectively), as compared with the control group (29 ± 11 pg/g protein, 33 ± 14 pg/g protein; respectively) (p < 0.01, p < 0.05; respectively). Exposure to MgSO4 did not affect VEGF levels in normotensive placentas. Conclusion: Reduced levels of VEGF are expressed by some placental compartments in preeclampsia compared with normotensive pregnancy. Perfusion with MgSO4 affects VEGF expression differently by preeclamptic and normotensive placentas. Increased production of placental VEGF in preeclampsia may play a role in the therapeutic action of MgSO4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-188
Number of pages11
JournalHypertension in Pregnancy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2013


  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Placenta
  • Placental perfusion system
  • Preeclampsia
  • VEGF.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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