Vascular endothelial growth factor expression is unaltered in placentae and myometrial resistance arteries from pre-eclamptic patients

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Abstract

Background.

The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is any difference for vascular endothelial growth factor expression in placentae and myometrial resistance arteries from control and pre-eclamptic patients to clarify the source of the increased total vascular endothelial growth factor in pre-eclampsia.

Methods.

With placentae tissue samples and small pieces of myometrium from the controls (n=10) and pre-eclampsia patients (n=7), vascular endothelial growth factor immunohistochemistry and mRNA in situ hybridization were performed. We also measured the serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels by competitive enzyme immunoassay at the same time.

Results.

Vascular endothelial growth factor was identified primarily in syncytiotrophoblast in placental tissue, and it was also identified in smooth muscle cells in the myometrium and perivascular smooth muscle in myometrial resistance arteries. However, there were no differences in vascular endothelial growth factor expression between the groups in the presence of elevated serum levels of total vascular endothelial growth factor in pre-eclamptic patients (median 18.2 ng/ml versus 4.9 ng/ml).

Conclusion.

This study suggests that the placenta and perivascular smooth muscle are not the origin of the increased total vascular endothelial growth factor in pre-eclampsia. To clearly understand the role of vascular endothelial growth factor in pre-eclampsia, further studies are required to determine the sites of increased vascular endothelial growth factor synthesis.

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