The role of the endogenous anti-inflammatory compound gravidin in pre-eclampsia

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The study's aims were to investigate the levels of gravidin, an endogenous phospholipase A2 inhibitor, in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia and to establish its effects on neutrophil function.


Serum samples were collected from 9 nonpregnant, 15 preeclamptic, and 10 healthy pregnant women and assayed for free gravidin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neutrophil phospholipase A2 and respiratory burst activities were determined in the presence of isolated free gravidin by cellular arachidonic acid release and superoxide anion production.


Levels of free gravidin were higher in the healthy pregnant (36.1 +/- 5.5 ng/mL) and preeclamptic (17.8 +/- 2.8 ng/mL) groups than in the nonpregnant control group (3.9 +/- 0.5 ng/mL) and were significantly different between pregnancy groups (P < .01, Mann-Whitney U test). Free gravidin caused a concentration dependent decrease in N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine-stimulated neutrophil arachidonic acid release (inhibitory concentration of 50% 25 nmol/L) and superoxide anion generation (inhibitory concentration of 50% 32 nmol/L).


Circulating levels of free gravidin are reduced in pre-eclampsia compared with normal pregnancy. This may encourage an increase in the respiratory burst of neutrophils in pre-eclampsia and could contribute to the oxidative stress and vascular damage that characterize this disease. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:1305-11.)

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