Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by hypertension and proteinuria. There are several factors associated with an increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia, one of which is increased uterine artery resistance, referred to as "notching". However, some women do not progress into pre-eclampsia whereas others may have a higher risk of doing so. The placenta, central in pre-eclampsia pathology, may express genes associated with either protection or progression into pre-eclampsia. In order to search for genes associated with protection or progression, whole-genome profiling was performed. Placental tissue from 15 controls, 10 pre-eclamptic, 5 pre-eclampsia with notching, and 5 with notching only were analyzed using microarray and antibody microarrays to study some of the same gene product and functionally related ones. The microarray showed 148 genes to be significantly altered between the four groups. In the preeclamptic group compared to notch only, there was increased expression of genes related to chemotaxis and the NF-kappa B pathway and decreased expression of genes related to antigen processing and presentation, such as human leukocyte antigen B. Our results indicate that progression of pre-eclampsia from notching may involve the development of inflammation. Increased expression of antigen-presenting genes, as seen in the notch-only placenta, may prevent this inflammatory response and, thereby, protect the patient from developing pre-eclampsia.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine