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

Functional reactivity of 5-HT receptors in human umbilical cord and maternal subcutaneous fat arteries after normotensive or pre-eclamptic pregnancy.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the functional reactivity of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin; 5-HT) receptors in foetal umbilical cord arteries (UCA) and maternal subcutaneous fat resistance arteries (SFA) in normotensive and pre-eclamptic pregnancy. DESIGN: Study groups were divided based on the presence or absence of pre-eclampsia and the duration of gestation. METHODS: Segments of UCA and SFA were mounted in tissue baths and concentration-response curves to 5-HT and sumatriptan (5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist) were constructed in the absence or presence of ketanserin (5-HT2A receptor antagonist) or GR125743 (5-HT1B/1D receptor antagonist). RESULTS: Both 5-HT and sumatriptan contracted all UCA segments studied. The responses to 5-HT and the potency of ketanserin in UCA were not different between the study groups, indicating a similar profile of the 5-HT2A receptor. In contrast, the potencies of sumatriptan and GR125743 were significantly higher in normotensive full-term pregnancies than in normotensive pre-term pregnancies in UCA. The response to sumatriptan in UCA arteries was not significantly different between pre-eclamptic and normotensive pregnancies. However, the potency of both sumatriptan and GR125743 was positively correlated to the gestational age in the normotensive group, whereas this relationship was absent in the pre-eclamptic group. In SFA, responses to 5-HT and sumatriptan were not different between the pre-eclamptic patients and normotensive controls. CONCLUSIONS: In both UCA and SFA, 5-HT1B/1D and 5-HT2A receptors mediate vasoconstriction. The sensitivity of 5-HT1B/1D receptors increases in the last trimester in the UCA in normal pregnancies, which seems to be expedited in pre-eclamptic patients. Further studies on 5-HT1B/ID receptors will thus give new insights into the foetal development and pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia.[1]


  1. Functional reactivity of 5-HT receptors in human umbilical cord and maternal subcutaneous fat arteries after normotensive or pre-eclamptic pregnancy. Gupta, S., Hanff, L.M., Visser, W., Steegers, E.A., Saxena, P.R., Vulto, A.G., MaassenVanDenBrink, A. J. Hypertens. (2006) [Pubmed]
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