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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Adipocytokine expression in placentas from pre-eclamptic and chronic hypertensive patients.

OBJECTIVE: Growing evidence suggests that concentration of the adipocytokines leptin and adiponectin may be affected by risk of hypertension during pregnancy. Leptin and leptin receptor gene expression has been studied in placentas obtained from pre-eclamptic patients, but not in those with chronic high blood pressure (CHBP). Adiponectin receptors remain unstudied in placentas obtained from hypertensive patients. METHODS: Therefore, we investigated relative mRNA expression of selected adipocytokine genes (leptin, leptin receptors (LEPRA, LEPRB, LEPRC, LEPRD) and adiponectin receptors (ADIPOR1, ADIPOR2)) in placental tissues from women with pre-eclampsia (n = 6) or CHBP (n = 8). Placentas from 28 normotensive patients were analyzed as controls. mRNA extracted from biopsies taken from the maternal and fetal sides of the placenta was investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Compared with controls, significant increases in leptin mRNA expression were seen in placentas from pre-eclamptic patients on the maternal (p = 0.01) and fetal (p = 0.02) sides, and in placentas from CHBP mothers on the fetal side (p = 0.001). Maternal-side tissue from CHBP patients was not significantly different from that of controls (p = 0.08), but this might be due to the small sample size. No significant differences were seen in mRNA expression for most of the adipocytokine receptors tested for hypertensive cases compared with controls. However, there was a decrease in LEPRC (pre-eclamptic, maternal side, p = 0.03) and LEPRD (pre-eclamptic, maternal side, p = 0.01; CHBP, fetal side, p = 0.009) in case-control analysis. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study shows that increases seen in leptin expression in placentas from hypertensive mothers might be a consequence of defects in placentation associated with this disease, and motivates further region-specific adipocytokine gene expression analysis across this organ.[1]


  1. Adipocytokine expression in placentas from pre-eclamptic and chronic hypertensive patients. Meller, M., Qiu, C., Kuske, B.T., Abetew, D.F., Muy-Rivera, M., Williams, M.A. Gynecol. Endocrinol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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