The expression and activity of prostaglandin H synthase-2 is enhanced in trophoblast from women with preeclampsia

Roger D. Johnson, Yoel Sadovsky, Carol Graham, Eyal Y. Anteby, Kenneth L. Polakoski, Xiaohua Huang, D. Michael Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3059-3062
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 24 Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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