The effect of vitamin C and E on placental lipid peroxidation and antioxidative enzymes in perfused placenta

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To investigate placental lipid peroxidation products and antioxidative enzymes after vitamin C and/or E infusions into the maternal circulation of normal and preeclamptic placentas perfused in vitro.


Placentas from 29 normal and six preeclamptic women delivered between 27 and 41 weeks of gestation were used in the study.


Neither vitamin C (500 μM) nor vitamin E (50 μM) had any effect on placental lipid peroxidation or antioxidative enzymes in normal placentas. Vitamin C infused in preeclamptic placentas decreased peroxidation potential, as an indicator of lipid peroxidation to the same level it was in normal placentas (812 vs. 649 mV/mgprot; p=0.420). The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) was lower (1350 vs. 2030 ng/mgprot;p=0.023) in preeclamptic placentas, and the activities of glutathione peroxidase (0.22 vs. 0.08 μmol/min×mgprot;p=0.010) and glutathione-S-transferase (19.8 vs. 13.1μmol/min×mgprot; p=0.016) were higher in preeclamptic compared to normal placentas.


In this study, based on in vitro perfused normal and preeclamptic placentas, exogenous antioxidative vitamins had no effect on lipid peroxidation or endogenous antioxidative enzymes in normal placenta, but reduced placental lipid peroxidation and could potentiate the activity of some endogenous placental antioxidative enzymes in preeclamptic placenta.

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