Sumary of Enzyme could be major driver of preeclampsia:

  • A new study by UT Southwestern scientists indicates that an enzyme called protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) appears to be a major driver of preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by the development of high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine.
  • One is an autoimmune disease known as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), in which antibodies react to proteins on the surface of some cells.
  • Although APS is relatively rare, affecting only about 5 in every 100,000 people, studies have identified APS antibodies in about 29% of pregnant women with preeclampsia.
  • To better understand how APS leads to preeclampsia, Dr. Shaul, Dr. Mineo, and their colleagues created an animal model by injecting pregnant mice with APS antibodies.
  • These animals developed high blood pressure and a rise in urine protein, which are characteristics of preeclampsia.
  • In contrast, the APS antibodies didn’t affect blood pressure in nonpregnant mice.
  • Based on previous work, the researchers knew that a protein called ApoER2 may be related to the harmful actions of APS antibodies on placental cells called trophoblasts.
  • In mice, the APS antibodies prevented trophoblast migration, and growth of the fetus was restricted.

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