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VCU findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia
Date:1/4/2011

ood vessel contraction by activation of a receptor known as PAR1, which according to Walsh, could explain the hypertension, or high blood pressure, of women with preeclampsia.

"This finding may be especially important for preeclampsia because we found increased amounts of PAR1 in blood vessels of preeclamptic women as compared to normal pregnant women. MMP-1 activation of PAR1 is a totally new mechanism to explain hypertension," Walsh said.

PAR1 is best known for its role in the coagulation of blood, but it is not known for a role in hypertension, said Walsh.

Further, the team showed that neutrophils, or white blood cells, and neutrophil products increase MMP-1 and PAR1. According to Walsh, neutrophil infiltration may be the cause of the increase in MMP-1 and PAR1 in blood vessels that leads to vessel dysfunction and clinical symptoms of preeclampsia.

"Activation of the PAR1 receptor by MMP-1 causes changes in the endothelial cells of blood vessels that we speculated could result in contraction of blood vessels. This new information provides a rationale for the use of PAR1 inhibitors to treat preeclampsia," said Walsh.


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Contact: Sathya Achia Abraham
sbachia@vcu.edu
804-827-0890
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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