Role of oxidative stress markers and antioxidants in the placenta of preeclamptic patients

Neerja Rani, Renu Dhingra, Dharamveer Singh Arya, Mani Kalaivani, Neerja Bhatla, Rani Kumar
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 2010, 36 (6): 1189-94

AIM: The present study aimed to evaluate and compare the placental variables of oxidative stress markers in preeclamptic women.

METHODS: A total of 60 placentas were collected. Of these, 30 were obtained from normotensive pregnancies, and 30 from pregnancies with preeclampsia as per International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) criteria. Each placental tissue was analyzed for levels of pro-oxidant (malondialdehyde) and antioxidants (glutathione and superoxide dismutase) using the standard enzymatic assays.

RESULTS: Malondialdehyde levels were significantly higher (12.21 ± 4.1 versus 4.7 ± 2.1 nmol/g tissue, P < 0.0001) and glutathione (GSH) levels were significantly lower (0.46 ± 0.37 versus 1.03 ± 0.43 µmol/g tissue, P < 0.0001) in the placentas of preeclamptic women when compared to those of normal pregnancies. Though not statistically significant, decreases in superoxide dismutase levels were observed in placentas of preeclamptic women (4.14 ± 2.25 versus 5.22 ± 2.0 units/mg tissue protein, P < 0.055). Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis of malondialdehyde revealed a sensitivity of 87% and specificity of 87%, at a cutoff value 6.5 nmol/g. Similarly, GSH had a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 77% at a cutoff value 0.62 µmol/g.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrated that increased placental lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of antioxidants may play an important role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. These findings are suggestive of involvement of oxidative stress markers in preeclamptic patients.

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