Preeclampsia is associated with altered biosynthesis of vasoactive prostanoids in placental villi. The two isozymes of prostaglandin H synthase (PGHS) are essential for prostanoid synthesis. We tested the hypothesis the PGHS-2 expression is elevated in trophoblast from preeclamptic women, compared with trophoblast from healthy women. Using immunofluorescent staining, we demonstrated a higher PGHS-2 expression in villi from preeclampsia, compared with normal pregnancy. Cytotrophoblasts cultured from placentas of preeclamptic women expressed higher levels of PGHS-2 compared with cytotrophoblasts from normal placentas. This enhanced expression of PGHS-2 correlated with increased media levels of both thromboxane and prostaglandin E2, two products of PGHS activity. The increased prostanoid production by trophoblast from preeclamptic women was markedly reduced by NS- 398, a specific inhibitor of PGHS-2. We conclude that both expression and activity of PGHS-2 are enhanced in trophoblasts from preeclamptic women compared with trophoblast from normal pregnancies. The increased production of prostanoids may contribute to the clinical syndrome of preeclampsia. Our data suggest that a selective inhibitor of PGHS-2 might provide a therapeutic alternative to prophylactic low-dose aspirin in modifying the prostanoid profile in preeclampsia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical