Navigation Links
Research could lead to preeclampsia prevention

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
Georgia Health Sciences University

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:
Related Image:
Research could lead to preeclampsia prevention
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... CloudLIMS today announced that ... Business Awards under the New Products and Services category for its innovative product ... management software that helps labs organize data and track samples with storage ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... non-traumatic limb amputations in the United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based ... adopt therapeutic behaviors) are often catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... their independence is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro ... offer this next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare ... IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), a leading ... arenas, is pleased to announce that VIP Care Services, a Caprock Health Group ... ACUITY Complete Care™ Management to back their collaborative catastrophic case management initiatives. ACUITY ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Royal Philips  ... an X-ray imaging software that produces high-contrast images for ... use a grid, at the 2015 Radiological Society ... SkyFlow is Philips, first digital imaging solution providing grid-like ... improves clinician,s workflow and supports "first-time-right imaging" by decreasing ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 A federal court has denied the ... a lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) ... a new law that forces employers and consumers to pay ... Arkansas must now defend a law that raises ... and CEO Mark Merritt . --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 --> --> ... Market by Type of Drug (Monoclonal Antibodies, Interferon-Alpha, Interleukins, Vaccines, ... Pipeline Analysis - Global Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 73,529.2 Million by 2020 from USD 40,281.6 Million in 2015, ... Browse 37 market data T ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: