Vitamin-D dysregulation in early- and late-onset preeclampsia: a gestational-age matched study

Courtney B Martin, Bryan T Oshiro, LeeAnna D Sands, Salma Kabir, Donna Thorpe, Tatiana C Clark, Ruofan Yao, Eugenia Mata-Greenwood
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2020 July 15, : 105729
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with preeclampsia, however, vitamin D supplementation studies have shown equivocal data on amelioration of this disease. We hypothesize that women with preeclampsia have an altered endogenous vitamin D homeostasis that counteracts the beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation. Our study population consisted of 66 maternal/neonate dyads: 16 early-onset (<34 weeks) preeclampsia (EOP), 16 early-onset controls (EOC), 17 late-onset (≥34 weeks) preeclampsia (LOP), and 17 late-onset controls (LOC). Plasma levels of 25-OH-D and the bioactive metabolite 1α,25-(OH)2 -D were studied by ELISA. Placental expression of vitamin D transporters (cubulin and megalin), metabolic genes (CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1), and vitamin D binding protein (GC), were studied by real-time PCR, and the nuclear and cytosolic levels of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) protein were analyzed by immunoblotting. Maternal admission, maternal postpartum, and umbilical cord blood levels of 1α,25-(OH)2 -D and placental nuclear vitamin D receptor protein levels, were significantly lower in EOP compared to EOC. In contrast LOP was characterized by lower 25-OH-D levels in maternal postpartum and cord blood, and decreased placental cubulin expression compared to LOC. Both EOP and LOP showed decreased placental expression of CYP2R1 and GC compared to controls. Multivariable linear regression analysis demonstrated that preeclampsia was a significant predictor of decreased 1α,25-(OH)2 -D levels in early-onset subjects, while maternal BMI, but not preeclampsia, was the main predictor of decreased 25-OH-D in late-onset subjects. The highest positive correlation between the two vitamin D metabolites was observed in LOC umbilical cord blood. Finally, paired analysis of maternal metabolites before and after delivery indicated that women without preeclampsia had better maintenance of vitamin D levels. We conclude that EOP is characterized by decreased bioactivation of vitamin D and VDR in association with fetal growth restriction (FGR). In contrast, LOP is characterized by decreased 25-OH-D levels in association with decreased placental CYP2R1 and cubulin expression; and uncoupling of the 25-OH-D with the 1α,25-(OH)2 -D metabolite.

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