Nicotine restores endothelial dysfunction caused by excess sFlt1 and sEng in an in vitro model of preeclamptic vascular endothelium: a possible therapeutic role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists for preeclampsia

Kazuya Mimura, Takuji Tomimatsu, Namuxila Sharentuya, Ekaterine Tskitishvili, Yukiko Kinugasa-Taniguchi, Takeshi Kanagawa, Tadashi Kimura
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010, 202 (5): 464.e1-6

OBJECTIVE: In this study we tested the hypothesis that nicotine restores proangiogenic functions to endothelial cells pretreated with soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and/or soluble endoglin.

STUDY DESIGN: Wound healing assay and tube formation assay were performed using human umbilical vein endothelial cells treated with nicotine (10(-9) to 10(-6) M), and with various combinations of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (100 ng/mL), soluble endoglin (100 ng/mL), and nicotine (10(-7) M). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed to measure vascular endothelial growth factor, placental growth factor, and transforming growth factor-beta1 concentrations in the conditioned media treated with nicotine (10(-9) to 10(-6) M).

RESULTS: Nicotine significantly facilitated endothelial migration and tube formation. By contrast, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and/or soluble endoglin suppressed these endothelial functions. Nicotine restored these soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and/or soluble endoglin-reduced endothelial functions. Placental growth factor, but not transforming growth factor-beta1, production was significantly stimulated by the presence of nicotine. Vascular endothelial growth factor was undetectable.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest a possible mechanism for the protective effects of cigarette smoking against preeclampsia, thus proposing a therapeutic potential of nicotine or other nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists for preeclampsia.

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