Navigation Links
Research could lead to preeclampsia prevention
Date:11/6/2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. Excessive turnover of cells in the placenta may trigger an unnatural increase in blood pressure that puts mother and baby at risk, researchers say.

It's called preeclampsia, a condition that can develop after the 20th week of pregnancy, prompting an unhealthy increase in the mother's blood pressure that can result in premature delivery. Georgia Health Sciences University researchers want to know if dead placental cells in some cases produce an exaggerated immune response that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure.

"During pregnancy, there is a natural turnover of trophoblasts the main cell type in the placenta," said Dr. Stella Goulopoulou, a postdoctoral fellow in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Physiology at GHSU. "In pregnancies with preeclampsia, we see exaggerated rates of cell death compared to normal pregnancies."

When those cells die, they can release their mitochondria, or powerhouse, which then binds to a key receptor, Toll-like receptor 9, and causes an inflammatory response. Previous research has linked mitochondria released by damaged or dead cells to inflammatory responses associated with sepsis and heart failure.

"Blood vessels, like other tissues, have receptors that respond to mitochondrial DNA and other components of the mitochondria," Goulopoulou said. "DNA from the mitochondria can specifically activate Toll-like receptor 9, which is present in blood vessels. In our experiments, we found that activating Toll-like receptor 9 causes the blood vessels to constrict more than normal."

Goulopoulou has received a $25,000 Vision Grant from the Preeclampsia Foundation to study whether that is behind the generalized global inflammation and if that ultimately impairs the growing baby's supply of nutrients and oxygen. Vision Grants provide initial funding for novel lines of research to encourage young investigators to study causes and treatments of preeclampsia.

"The placenta is a dynamic tissue," she said. "We think it is the source of the mitochondria implicated in preeclampsia because it is the only tissue that undergoes such cell turnover during pregnancy. It also goes away, in most cases, when the placenta and baby are delivered."

Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine a sign the kidneys are stressed - and restricted growth of the fetus. It can also cause long-term damage to the mother's blood vessels, kidneys and liver. The condition causes approximately 76,000 maternal and half a million infant deaths worldwide each year. The symptomsheadaches, nausea, swelling, achescan be indistinguishable from those of ordinary pregnancy, which can complicate diagnosis. Risk factors include first pregnancy, multiple fetuses, obesity, maternal age greater than 35 and a maternal history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease. Researchers suspect many different causes for the condition, and although mild cases may be treated with dietary modifications, bed rest and blood pressure medication, birth is the only cure, Goulopoulou said.

Goulopoulou is looking for a molecular explanation for what triggers Toll-like receptor 9 to signal the body's inflammatory response, leading to vessel constriction. "When vessels in the uterus constrict, it inhibits blood flow, oxygen and nutrient supply to the baby," she said. "So, increased uterine constriction could be responsible for restricting the baby's growth." Women with preeclampsia often have underweight and underdeveloped babies.

By injecting mitochondria from placental cells into pregnant rats, Goulopoulou expects to see an inflammatory response and symptoms of preeclampsia. She will also measure the levels of mitochondrial DNA in the circulation of women with preeclampsia.

"One of the main objectives of this study is to discover why and how activation of Toll-like receptor 9 by mitochondrial DNA causes abnormal function of the blood vessels," she said. "If it is determined that this receptor is responsible, it could be a valid therapeutic target."


'/>"/>
Contact: Jennifer Hilliard Scott
jscott1@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-8604
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
2. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
3. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
4. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
5. Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: UBC research
6. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
7. LSUHSC research finds HPV-related head & neck cancers rising, highest in middle-aged white men
8. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
9. Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
10. Scientific session and new research highlights
11. NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Research could lead to preeclampsia prevention
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 27, 2017 , ... New Jersey ranks among the top ... and genders. And the need for advanced services is growing. , Project WE ... care program, in collaboration with their non-profit partners in their fight against cancer and ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... NuevaCare, a leading home care agency based in San Mateo, ... is proud to announce an important upgrade to its geographic information pages, starting with ... to home, and by having city-specific pages, NuevaCare is answering that information need. , ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... ... ODH, Inc.™ announced today it will exhibit and speak at the ... in Arlington, VA. ODH’s director of medical strategy, Candace Saldarini, M.D., will present on ... health management. , ODH will also have an exhibit booth where attendees may speak ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... HealthPostures, expert ... Core benefits and advantages built into the home office sit stand solution are ... feel. Ability to gain the benefits embedded in the TaskMate Go are available ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... An in-depth computational analysis of genetic variants implicated in ... eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to one of the disorders could place ... published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. , “There is a wealth of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... Period October – December 2016 Revenues amounted to SEK ... million Result after tax amounted to SEK -16.3 (-6.5) million, ... Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK -8.3 (-7.3) million ... Period full year 2016 ... result amounted to SEK -39.5 (-29.5) million Result after tax ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the Cowen and ... the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Tuesday, March 7, ... A live webcast of the presentation can be accessed ... for replay following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017  In conjunction with DURECT Corporation,s ... results press release, you are invited to listen to ... the internet on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 4:30 ... A live audio webcast of the presentation will be ... and clicking "Investor Relations."  If you are unable to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: