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Expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-α and inducible NO synthase in placental tissue of normal and preeclamptic pregnancies

, : Expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-α and inducible NO synthase in placental tissue of normal and preeclamptic pregnancies. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 25(6): 826-830

Although preeclampsia (PE) is one of the most important problems affecting pregnant women, etiologic factors in its development are still unclear. We aimed to investigate the expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in preeclamptic and healthy control placentas. Placental tissue samples were obtained after delivery from patients diagnosed with PE and from normal-term pregnants and analyzed for COX-2, TNF-α and iNOS expression by immunohistochemistry. A strong expression of COX-2 was observed in syncytiotrophoblast cells of preeclamptic placentas, which was significantly higher than that of normal placentas (p = 0.005). A mild expression of TNF-α in both normal and preeclamptic syncytiotrophoblasts was seen (p = 0.435). In addition, a strong expression of iNOS in normal syncytiotrophoblasts was found, but the intensity of the iNOS expression was highly reduced in preeclamptic placentas (p = 0.001). No correlation was detected between COX-2, TNF-α and iNOS expression levels. The findings of a decrease of iNOS expression and an increase of COX-2 expression in placenta suggest the existence of functional roles of iNOS and COX-2 in the pathophysiology of PE, probably by contributing to the reduced placental blood flow and increased resistance to flow in the fetomaternal circulation.


PMID: 22014124

DOI: 10.3109/14767058.2011.595853

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