Acute atherosis and oxidative stressin preeclampsia
Appears in the following Collection
AbstractPreeclampsia is complicating 3.5% of pregnancies in Norway, and is associated with increased mortality and morbidity for both mother and offspring. Deficient placentation with release of substances from the placenta to the maternal circulation is believed to cause hypertension and proteinuria, which are diagnostic of the disease.
The uterine endometrium (decidua) contains blood vessels that are important for placental nutritional transport to the fetus. The walls of these spiral arteries often contain lipid depositions (acute atherosis), causing reduced blood flow to the placenta, hypoxia and oxidative stress.
Gynecologist Nina Kittelsen Harsem demonstrated that a new method for collecting decidual tissue after delivery was better than traditional knife biopsies from the uterine endometrium, as more spiral arteries were collected for demonstration of lipid deposition in morphological investigations. The lipid depositions in the spiral artery walls were more frequent in women with preeclampsia than in women with normal pregnancies, but not all women with preeclampsia demonstrated these vascular changes. In addition, some few women with apparently healthy pregnancies also demonstrated similar evidence of arterial lipid deposition.
Among circulating substances found in increased concentration in preeclampsia are oxidized lipids, including isoprostanes, which could result in a state of increased oxidative stress. In the preeclampsia group there was evidence of augmented oxidative stress in the maternal circulation. In the fetal umbilical cord blood there was not found any difference between preeclampsia and controls.
She then explored whether there is an association between the lipid deposition in the spiral arterial wall and signs of augmented oxidative stress in maternal blood, but no such association were demonstrated.
This study supports the concept that preeclampsia is a heterogeneous disease that does not affect all women, fetuses or placentas similarly.
Publications included in the thesis
Paper I: Harsem NK, Staff AC, He L, Roald B. The decidual suction method: a new way of collecting decidual tissue for functional and morphological studies. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2004;83:724-30 Abstract.
Paper II: Harsem NK, Braekke K, Staff AC. Augmented oxidative stress as well as antioxidant capacity in maternal circulation in preeclampsia. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2006;128:209-15. Abstract.
Paper III: Braekke K, Harsem NK, Staff AC. Oxidative stress and antioxidant status in fetal circulation in preeclampsia. Pediatric Research 2006;60:560-64. Abstract.
Paper IV: Harsem NK, Roald B, Braekke K, Staff AC. Acute atherosis in decidual tissue: not associated with systemic oxidative stress in preeclampsia. Placenta 2007;28:958-64. Abstract.