Elevated placental soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 inhibits angiogenesis in preeclampsia

Shakil Ahmad, Asif Ahmed
Circulation Research 2004 October 29, 95 (9): 884-91
Preeclampsia is an inflammatory disorder in which serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its soluble receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1, also known as sFlt-1) are elevated. We hypothesize that VEGF and placenta growth factor (PlGF) are dysregulated in preeclampsia due to high levels of sVEGFR-1, which leads to impaired placental angiogenesis. Analysis of supernatants taken from preeclamptic placental villous explants showed a four-fold increase in sVEGFR-1 than normal pregnancies, suggesting that villous explants in vitro retain a hypoxia memory reflecting long-term fetal programming. The relative ratios of VEGF to sVEGFR-1 and PlGF to sVEGFR-1 released from explants decreased by 53% and 70%, respectively, in preeclampsia compared with normal pregnancies. Exposure of normal villous explants to hypoxia increased sVEGFR-1 release compared with tissue normoxia (P<0.001), as did stimulation with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (P<0.01). Conditioned medium (CM) from normal villous explants induced endothelial cell migration and in vitro tube formation, which were both attenuated by pre-incubation with exogenous sVEGFR-1 (P<0.001). In contrast, endothelial cells treated with preeclamptic CM showed substantially reduced angiogenesis compared with normal CM (P<0.001), which was not further decreased by the addition of exogenous sVEGFR-1, indicating a saturation of the soluble receptor. Removal of sVEGFR-1 by immunoprecipitation from preeclamptic CM significantly restored migration (P<0.001) and tube formation (P<0.001) to levels comparable to that induced by normal CM, demonstrating that elevated levels of sVEGFR-1 in preeclampsia are responsible for inhibiting angiogenesis. Our finding demonstrates the dysregulation of the VEGF/PlGF axis in preeclampsia and offers an entirely new therapeutic approach to its treatment.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"