Effect of Antihypertensive Therapy with Alpha Methyldopa on Levels of Angiogenic Factors in Pregnancies with Hypertensive Disorders

Khon Kaen University, Thailand
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 07/2008; 3(7):e2766. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002766
Source: PubMed


Antihypertensive drugs are believed to lower blood pressure in pre-eclampsia by direct or central vasodilatory mechanisms. However, they could also act by decreasing production of anti-angiogenic proteins involved in the pathophysiology of hypertension and proteinuria in pre-eclampsia (PE). The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of antihypertensive therapy with alpha methyldopa on maternal circulating levels and placental production of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), soluble endoglin (sEng), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
In a study conducted at University College Hospital and the Homerton University Hospital in London, we recruited 51 women with PE, 29 with gestational hypertension (GH), and 80 matched normotensive controls. Eight (16%) of the women with PE had severe disease. Placental samples were obtained from a further 48 women (14 PE, 10 GH and 24 matched controls). Serum levels of angiogenic factors were measured before and 24-48 hours after commencing antihypertensive therapy with alpha methyldopa for clinical indications. The same parameters were measured in placental extracts. In both PE (P<0.0001) and GH (P<0.05), serum sFlt-1 was increased and PlGF reduced at all gestations (P<0.001) compared to controls. Serum sEng levels were also increased in PE. Placental concentration of sFlt-1 and sEng was significantly higher in women with PE compared to controls and women with GH (P<0.0001). The concentration of PlGF was significantly lower in the placental tissue of women with PE compared to GH (P = 0.008). Antihypertensive treatment was associated with a significant fall in serum and placental content of sFlt1 and sEng in PE only.
Our data suggest that alpha methyldopa may have a specific effect on placental and/or endothelial cell function in pre-eclampsia patients, altering angiogenic proteins.

Download full-text


Available from: Kevin Harrington, Dec 19, 2013
  • Source
    • "However, PE is a disorder of deep invasive placentation, limiting the study of pharmacologic interventions to humans and a few other higher primates. We have previously shown the anti-hypertensive drug α-methyldopa (Mdopa) has an effect on maternal serum levels of angiogenic proteins and placental hormones in pregnancies complicated by PE [16], [17]. This effect may be independent of Mdopa known antihypertensive central action and we have suggested that Mdopa may directly influence trophoblastic protein synthesis and/or release and thus some of the main placental biological functions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IntroductionAntihypertensive drugs lower the maternal blood pressure in pre-eclampsia (PE) by direct or central vasodilatory mechanisms but little is known about the direct effects of these drugs on placental functions.ObjectiveThe aim of our study is to evaluate the effect of labetolol, hydralazine, α-methyldopa and pravastatin on the synthesis of placental hormonal and angiogenic proteins know to be altered in PE.DesignPlacental villous explants from late onset PE (n = 3) and normotensive controls (n = 6) were cultured for 3 days at 10 and 20% oxygen (O2) with variable doses anti-hypertensive drugs. The levels of activin A, inhibin A, human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and soluble endoglin (sEng) were measured in explant culture media on day 1, 2 and 3 using standard immunoassays. Data at day 1 and day 3 were compared.ResultsSpontaneous secretion of sEndoglin and sFlt-1 were higher (p<0.05) in villous explants from PE pregnancies compared to controls. There was a significant time dependant decrease in the secretion of sFlt-1 and sEndoglin in PE cases, which was seen only for sFlt-1 in controls. In both PE cases and controls the placental protein secretions were not affected by varying doses of anti-hypertensive drugs or the different O2 concentration cultures, except for Activin, A which was significantly (p<0.05) higher in controls at 10% O2.InterpretationOur findings suggest that the changes previously observed in maternal serum hormones and angiogenic proteins level after anti-hypertensive treatment in PE could be due to a systemic effect of the drugs on maternal blood pressure and circulation rather than a direct effect of these drugs on placental biosynthesis and/or secretion.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    • "Preeclampsia, a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by hypertension, proteinuria and edema, causes fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality with high incidence in developing countries [1]. Symptoms of preeclampsia are currently combated by sodium restriction, rest and medication for blood pressure control to avoid complications for the mother and prolong the pregnancy for fetal maturation [2]–[4]. However, this attempt is rather unspecific with possible side effects for the developing fetus [5]–[7]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Preeclampsia, a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by hypertension, proteinuria and edema, is a major cause of fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Bj-PRO-10c, a proline-rich peptide isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom, has been attributed with potent anti-hypertensive effects. Recently, we have shown that Bj-PRO-10c-induced anti-hypertensive actions involved NO production in spontaneous hypertensive rats. Using in vitro studies we now show that Bj-PRO-10c was able to increase NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells from hypertensive pregnant women (HUVEC-PE) to levels observed in HUVEC of normotensive women. Moreover, in the presence of the peptide, eNOS expression as well as argininosuccinate synthase activity, the key rate-limiting enzyme of the citrulline-NO cycle, were enhanced. In addition, excessive superoxide production due to NO deficiency, one of the major deleterious effects of the disease, was inhibited by Bj-PRO-10c. Bj-PRO-10c induced intracellular calcium fluxes in both, HUVEC-PE and HUVEC, which, however, led to activation of eNOS expression only in HUVEC-PE. Since Bj-PRO-10c promoted biological effects in HUVEC from patients suffering from the disorder and not in normotensive pregnant women, we hypothesize that Bj-PRO-10c induces its anti-hypertensive effect in mothers with preeclampsia. Such properties may initiate the development of novel therapeutics for treating preeclampsia.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    • "Women with new-onset, nonproteinuric hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation are provisionally diagnosed as GH, however there is significant risk for the development of preeclampsia or chronic hypertension [6]. A recent study by Khalil et al., 2008, suggests that pathophysiology of GH and preeclampsia are different as treatment with antihypertensive drugs had an effect on levels of sFlt-1 and soluble endoglin in preeclamptic groups compared to GH group, although these biomarkers were significantly raised in untreated GH [7]. Furthermore, most published work on these biomarkers have not attempted to correlate this values to that of placental structural changes. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy contributes to about 12% of maternal deaths in Malaysia and similarly worldwide. Early detection and adequate management are preventable strategies. Biochemical markers of abnormal angiogenesis would be more specific in early detection than routine blood pressure and proteinuria measurements. The aim of this study was to estimate maternal plasma PlGF and sFlt-1 levels in pregnant women with gestational hypertension at three intervals of pregnancy and correlate these biomarker levels with placental morphometry. Methods Venous blood samples (antepartum, intrapartum and post partum periods) were drawn to estimate for sFlt-1 and PlGF levels while placental tissue samples were examined for placental morphometry. Results PlGF levels were lower in gestational hypertension (GH) compared to normotensive during antepartum and intrapartum period, whereas sFlt-1 levels were elevated in GH at antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum intervals during pregnancy. An inverse relationship between these two biomarkers was observed through correlation analysis. PlGF levels were inversely correlated with total villous surface area of the placental periphery (TCsa-C) and villous capillarization (VC-C) of the placental periphery. Conclusion We established periodic values of for sFlt-1 and PlGF levels for the first time in an ethnically diverse Malaysian setting. We suggest the development of GH in women is related to defective capillarization. In demonstrating periodic changes, this study suggest the possibility of developing GH and other long term health complications as a result of prolonged exposure to sFlt-1. The correlation between PlGF levels and morphometric findings also support possible capillarization defect.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Show more