Study: Enzyme Appearance as a Driver Behind Preeclampsia

Understanding the driving factors behind a condition is necessary for the development of effective treatments. A recent study has advanced our understanding of preeclampsia, a rare complication that impacts five to seven percent of pregnancies. Researchers discovered that the appearance of an enzyme called protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) is the major driving force behind preeclampsia.

About the Study

Titled “Protein Phosphatase 2A Activation via ApoER2 in Trophoblasts Drives Preeclampsia in a Mouse Model of the Antiphospholipid Syndrome,” this study explored a number of risk factors behind the rare birth defect.

One of their findings connected preeclampsia to antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and it did so through mouse models injected with APS antibodies. Pregnant mice developed high blood pressure alongside increases in urine protein levels, both of which are signature characteristics of preeclampsia. In comparison, nonpregnant mice injected with APS antibodies did not experience these effects.

Prior research tells us that the ApoER2 protein, which plays a role in APS, has a harmful effect on placental cells. It stops them from traveling between the maternal and fetal sides of the placenta, therefore stopping the transfer of necessary nutrients.

To treat the effects they had observed, the researchers dosed the pregnant mice with a PP2A drug inhibitor. They saw that treated mice avoided preeclampsia and any adverse effects that would harm gestation.

 About Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a rare pregnancy complication that tends to begin after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure and damage to another organ system, such as the kidneys or liver. Treatment, which consists of premature delivery, is absolutely necessary, as preeclampsia can result in severe complications for both mother and baby.

High blood pressure, defined as 140/90 mm HG or higher, is a major symptom of this condition. Other effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, proteinuria, signs of kidney problems, impaired liver function, thrombocytopenia, changes in vision, pain in the upper abdomen, shortness of breath, and decreased urine output. Edema and sudden weight gain are also possible symptoms of preeclampsia, but because they occur so commonly in pregnancy, they are not always a reliable sign. These symptoms are the result of decreased blood flow to the placenta due to abnormal blood vessels. This may occur for a number of reasons, such as genetic mutations, problems in the immune system, damaged blood vessels, and insufficient blood flow to the uterus.

Find the source article here.

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