Hydrogen sulphide rescues preeclampsia-like phenotype aggravated by high sFlt-1 in Placenta Growth Factor (PlGF) deficiency

Shakil Ahmad, Bin Ma, Keqing Wang, Peter Hewett, Stuart Egginton, Asif Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Low circulating levels of placenta growth factor (PlGF) is strongly associated with the onset of preeclampsia, a maternal hypertensive disorder characterized by high blood pressure and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. Although, PlGF-deficient mice are born healthy and fertile at a Mendelian ratio, the physiological importance of PlGF in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia is unclear. We hypothesised that decreased levels of PlGF in pregnancy exacerbates the fetal growth restriction associated with preeclampsia in the presence of high sFlt-1.
METHODS: Pregnant PlGF-/- mice were injected with adenovirus encoding sFlt-1 (Ad-sFlt-1) at high (i) 1.5x109 pfu/ml and low (ii) 0.5x109 pfu/ml doses. Mean arterial blood pressure (MBP), biochemical and histological assessments of maternal kidney, placenta and embryos were performed.
RESULTS: Ad-sFlt-1 significantly increased MBP and induced severe glomerular endotheliosis in PlGF-/- mice at E10.5 gestation compared to wild-type animals. High sFlt-1 also significantly elevated albumincreatinine ratio and increased levels of urinary kidney injury molecule-1, a marker for proximal tubule injury.At a high dose of sFlt-1, there was complete fetal resorption in the pregnant PlGF-/- mice, and even the lower dose of sFlt-1 induced severe fetal resorption and abnormal placental vascularization. Hydrogen sulphide-releasing agent, GYY4137, significantly reduced resorption, hypertension and proteinuria in Ad-sFlt-1 treated pregnant PlGF-/- mice. To determine if placental PlGF is critical for preventing fetal growth restriction associated with preeclampsia, we generated haploinsufficient PlGF+/- placentas and embryos were generated in wild-time dams and exposed to high sFlt-1 environment. This resulted in reduced fetal resorption, gestational hypertension and proteinuria when compared to pregnant PlGF-/- mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Placental PlGF is a critical protective factor against the damaging effects of high sFlt-1 in preeclampsia and the hydrogen sulphide pathway may rescue preeclampsia phenotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberO-117
Pages (from-to)A94
Number of pages1
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2015


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