The elevation in circulating anti-angiogenic factors is independent of markers of neutrophil activation in preeclampsia

Wenda Ramma, Irina A. Buhimschi, Guomao Zhao, Antonette T. Dulay, Unzila Ali Nayeri, Catalin S. Buhimschi, Asif Ahmed

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Background - Severe preeclampsia is associated with increased neutrophil activation and elevated serum soluble endoglin (sEng) and soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) in the maternal circulation. To dissect the contribution of systemic inflammation and anti-angiogenic factors in preeclampsia, we investigated the relationships between the circulating markers of neutrophil activation and anti-angiogenic factors in severe preeclampsia or systemic inflammatory state during pregnancy.
Methods and results - Serum sEng, sFlt-1, placenta growth factor, interleukin-6 (IL-6), calprotectin, and plasma a-defensins concentrations were measured by ELISA in 88 women of similar gestational age stratified as: severe preeclampsia (sPE, n = 45), maternal systemic inflammatory response (SIR, n = 16) secondary to chorioamnionitis, pyelonephritis or appendicitis; and normotensive controls (CRL, n = 27). Neutrophil activation occurred in sPE and SIR, as a-defensins and calprotectin concentrations were two-fold higher in both groups compared to CRL (P < 0.05 for each). IL-6 concentrations were highest in SIR (P < 0.001), but were higher in sPE than in CRL (P < 0.01). sFlt-1 (P < 0.001) and sEng (P < 0.001) were ˜20-fold higher in sPE compared to CRL, but were not elevated in SIR. In women with sPE, anti-angiogenic factors were not correlated with markers of neutrophil activation (a-defensins, calprotectin) or inflammation (IL-6).
Conclusions - Increased systemic inflammation in sPE and SIR does not correlate with increased anti-angiogenic factors, which were specifically elevated in sPE indicating that excessive systemic inflammation is unlikely to be the main contributor to severe preeclampsia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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