Autoantibody from women with preeclampsia induces soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 production via angiotensin type 1 receptor and calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells signaling

Cissy Chenyi Zhou, Shakil Ahmad, Tiejuan Mi, Shahrzad Abbasi, Lingwei Xia, Mary-Clare Day, Susan M Ramin, Asif Ahmed, Rodney E Kellems, Yang Xia
Hypertension 2008, 51 (4): 1010-9
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific hypertensive syndrome that causes substantial maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence indicates that maternal endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia results from increased soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), a circulating antiangiogenic protein. Factors responsible for excessive production of sFlt-1 in preeclampsia have not been identified. We tested the hypothesis that angiotensin II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor activating autoantibodies, which occur in women with preeclampsia, contribute to increased production of sFlt-1. IgG from women with preeclampsia stimulates the synthesis and secretion of sFlt-1 via AT(1) receptor activation in pregnant mice, human placental villous explants, and human trophoblast cells. Using FK506 or short-interfering RNA targeted to the calcineurin catalytic subunit mRNA, we determined that calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells signaling functions downstream of the AT(1) receptor to induce sFlt-1 synthesis and secretion by AT(1)-receptor activating autoantibodies. AT(1)-receptor activating autoantibody-induced sFlt-1 secretion resulted in inhibition of endothelial cell migration and capillary tube formation in vitro. Overall, our studies demonstrate that an autoantibody from women with preeclampsia induces sFlt-1 production via angiotensin receptor activation and downstream calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cells signaling. These autoantibodies represent potentially important targets for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.

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