Trophoblastic remodeling in normal and preeclamptic pregnancies: implication of cytokines

Abdelaziz Kharfi, Yves Giguère, Vincent Sapin, Jacques Massé, Bernard Dastugue, Jean-Claude Forest
Clinical Biochemistry 2003, 36 (5): 323-31

OBJECTIVE: To summarize the recent knowledge on the implications of placenta and cytokines in normal and preeclamptic pregnancies.

DATA SOURCES: A literature search was conducted of applicable articles related to interactions between trophoblast and cytokines in generating preeclampsia.

CONCLUSIONS: The initiating event in preeclampsia has been postulated to be the reduced uteroplacental perfusion as a result of abnormal extravillous cytotrophoblast invasion and remodeling of the uterine spiral arteries. Focal ischemia and hypoxia, deportation of hypoxemic trophoblast cells and abnormal expression of various placental biologic molecules, particularly the cytokines, are thought to lead to widespread dysfunction of the maternal vascular endothelium resulting in overproduction of endothelin and thromboxane, enhanced vascular sensitivity to angiotensin II, and reduced secretion of vasodilators such as nitric oxide and prostacyclin. These alterations, in turn, cause hypertension, proteinuria and edema, and pathologies in many organ systems (kidney, lung, liver, brain).

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