The characteristics of erythrocyte Na+ transport systems in normal pregnancy and pregnancy-induced hypertension


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Abstract

Objective:To assess the role Na plays in the pathogenesis of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH).Methods:We assessed Na and K content, the maximum number of ouabain binding sites, Na+ - L i + countertransport and Na+— K+ cotransport in erythrocytes from women with untreated PIH, normal pregnant women and healthy non-pregnant women.Results:In normal pregnancy, the Na content of erythrocytes decreased, accompanied by the activation of Na excretion systems. In women with PIH, the Na content of erythrocytes and the Na + -K+ cotransport activity significantly increased, whilst erythrocyte K content and the maximum number of ouabain binding sites significantly decreased, compared with observations in normal pregnancy. In both normal pregnancy and PIH, there were no differences in Na+-Li+ countertransport.Conclusions:These results suggest that the increase of erythrocyte Na content in women with PIH may be contributed to by a reduction in the number of ouabain binding sites, whilst Na+-K+ cotransport and Na+ - L i + countertransport may compensate for this effect in women with PIH.

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