Navigation Links
Pre-eclampsia may be autoimmune disease
Date:7/28/2008

Biochemists at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston say they are the first to provide pre-clinical evidence that pregnancy-induced high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia may be an autoimmune disease. Their research could provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities for this intractable disease. Findings appear online in Nature Medicine on July 27.

Scientists in the laboratory of Yang Xia, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the UT Medical School at Houston, provided evidence of the connection by inducing symptoms similar to pre-eclampsia in pregnant mice that had been administered autoantibodies isolated from women with the condition. This proof-of-principle experiment is called adoptive transfer.

Pre-eclampsia typically occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy and is characterized by a sudden increase in blood pressure, excess protein in the urine and swelling of the hands, feet and face. It affects about one in 20 pregnancies and the only cure is delivery of the baby. Pre-eclampsia contributes to 15 percent of premature babies and is associated with a high incidence of mother and infant morbidity and mortality in the United States.

"There is no effective treatment for pre-eclampsia other than delivery, in part because of the lack of complete understanding of the disease," said Susan Ramin, M.D., study co-author, the Emma Sue Hightower Professor and Chair in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UT Medical School at Houston and a member of the medical staff of Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center. "This collaborative research is important because of its potential to lead to a possible cure of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Using the animal model we were able to prevent pre-eclampsia in pregnant mice. I don't want to overstate the implications, but this is clearly a very exciting time for all of us involved in the research. We plan to focus our efforts in expanding this research to pregnant women."

Unlike antibodies which attack foreign substances and clear diseases from the body, autoantibodies attack their own cells and cause conditions like lupus in which a person's immune system attacks the body's own organs and tissues, said Xia, the senior author. In the case of pre-eclampsia, autoantibodies are believed to bind and activate an angiotensin receptor that results in artery constriction.

Pre-eclampsia like symptoms were prevented when the pregnant mice were given agents designed to block the activation of the angiotensin receptor.

"The antibody injection model of pre-eclampsia described here provides strong experimental support for our working hypothesis that pre-eclampsia is an autoimmune disease in which angiotensin receptoractivating autoantibodies contribute to many features of the disease," Xia and her colleagues wrote in the paper.

If the research is confirmed in human trials, Xia believes this information could be used for both the earlier diagnosis and treatment of pre-eclampsia. By measuring autoantibody levels, clinicians could detect the disease weeks before symptoms appear. In addition, new drugs could be developed to inhibit the activation of the angiotensin receptor.

In the meantime, Xia said further research is needed to determine what triggers the production of the autoantibodies.

"Pre-eclampsia is one of the leading causes of prematurity and Small For Gestational Age (SGA) infants. Many of these babies are born with underdeveloped lungs or poor lung clearance of fluid, necessitating neonatal intensive care admission and various respiratory therapies to support their breathing. We continue to struggle to find a proven prevention or treatment solution for these problems," said Nehal A. Parikh, D.O., an assistant professor of neonatal-perinatal medicine at the UT Medical School at Houston and a member of the medical staff of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"If targeting the angiotensin receptor autoantibody is a useful strategy to treat pre-eclampsia, then it will also be a useful way to prevent and treat SGA associated with pre-eclampsia," Xia said.

The risk factors for pre-eclampsia include: having a history of pre-eclampsia; being obese; having twins, triplets or other multiples; and developing gestational diabetes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-690-9131
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New research on pre-eclampsia in mice may have important implications for humans
2. Low vitamin D during pregnancy linked to pre-eclampsia
3. Sugar linkage could lead to better treatment for autoimmune diseases
4. Steps toward Stopping Autoimmune Disease
5. Proteins new role discovered in autoimmune disease
6. NYU Langone Medical Centers tip sheet to the International Conference on Alzheimers Disease 2008
7. Latest advances in interventional cardiology for congenital heart disease presented
8. Protein transports nutrients believed to protect against eye disease
9. Gaining ground on sickle cell disease
10. Huntingtons disease: catching it early
11. Charcot-marie-tooth disease research funding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... Fla. , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ... authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced the addition ... ® Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New ... InfoSec managers to step-up security where it,s needed ... Washington, DC . --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... SOTO, Kansas , March 3, 2016 ... Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood test to aid ... cancer Early CDT®-Lung test to its clients ... Early CDT®-Lung test to its clients which include ... a leader in early cancer detection, today announced a ...
(Date:3/1/2016)...  (RSAC Booth #3041) – True fraud costs business ... is lost to false positives, where good customers are ... At the RSA Conference 2016, NuData Security is calling for ... by devaluing the data fraudsters have in abundance in ... --> --> Cheap and readily ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cambridge Semantics, ... semantic web technology, today announced that it has been named to The Silicon Review’s ... financial services and other markets, Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end users facing ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that Charles ... member of Committee since 1987. Since then, he has served in a number of ... chairman for both the program and exposition committees. In his professional career, Dr. Gardner ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , April 27, 2016 ... "Gesellschaft" oder "NanoStruck") (CSE: NSK) (OTCPink: NSKQB) ( ... sie im Anschluss an ihre Pressemitteilung vom 13. ... Inc. erhalten hat, ihre Finanzen um zusätzliche 200.000.000 ... auf 4.000.000 Kanadische Dollar zu bringen. Davon wurden ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  ... Director and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: