The pathophysiology of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia may involve abnormalities in placentation and the Fas/Fas ligand system. Hypothesizing abnormal plasma Fas and Fas ligand in pregnancy-induced hypertension, we recruited 20 hypertensive pregnant women at mean week 15 and 29 at week 30: 18 were studied at both time points. Control groups were 20 normotensive pregnant women at week 20, 29 women at week 27, and 50 nonpregnant women. sFas and sFas ligand (sFasL) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The hypertensive women had lower sFasL at both stages of their pregnancy (P < .05). There were no differences in sFas. In 18 hypertensive pregnant women, sFasL fell from week 15 to week 29 (P < .03). We conclude that sFas and sFasL is unchanged in normal pregnancy. Hypertension in pregnancy is characterized by low sFasL, and levels fall from weeks 15 to 29. This may reflect differences in placentation in the differing physiological and pathological states.