Edaravone inhibits hypoxia-induced trophoblast-soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 expression: a possible therapeutic approach to preeclampsia

Y Zhao, Y F Zheng, Q Q Luo, T Yan, X X Liu, L Han, L Zou
Placenta 2014, 35 (7): 476-82

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of edaravone, a potent free radical scavenger used clinically, on hypoxia-induced trophoblast-soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) expression.

METHODS: A trophoblast cell line (HRT-8/SVneo) impaired by cobalt chloride (CoCl2) was used as the cell model under hypoxic conditions. 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) was used to measure the viability of cells exposed to CoCl2 and edaravone. The levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were analyzed by flow cytometry. mRNA expression of sFlt-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and placental growth factor (PlGF) in trophoblasts was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the secretion of sFlt-1, VEGF, and PlGF proteins was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube-formation assay was performed to identify the effects of CoCl2 and edaravone on vascular development.

RESULTS: CoCl2 treatment caused the loss of trophoblast viability, the formation of ROS, and sFlt-1 mRNA and protein expression in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment with edaravone significantly inhibited hypoxia-induced oxidative stress formation and sFlt-1 expression in trophoblasts. Neither PlGF nor VEGF mRNA or protein expression was increased by CoCl2. In the in vitro tube formation assay, edaravone showed a protective role in vascular development under hypoxic conditions.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that hypoxia leading to increased sFlt-1 release in trophoblasts may contribute to the placental vascular formation abnormalities observed in preeclampsia and suggested that the free radical scavenger edaravone could be a candidate for the effective treatment of preeclampsia.

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