Plasma adenosine levels increase in women with normal pregnancies

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 May;182(5):1200-3. doi: 10.1067/mob.2000.104832.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate plasma adenosine levels during normal pregnancy and to evaluate the possible roles of platelet activation and 5'-nucleotidase as causes of changes in adenosine levels.

Study design: We measured plasma adenosine levels, the platelet activation markers beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4, and 5'-nucleotidase activity, which catalyzes dephosphorylation from adenosine monophosphate to adenosine, in 34 nonpregnant women and 34 women with normal pregnancies in the third trimester.

Results: The mean plasma adenosine level in pregnant women was 0.59 +/- 0.08 micromol/L (mean +/- SEM), which was significantly higher than that found in nonpregnant women (0.18 +/- 0.04 micromol/L; P <.01). In pregnant women plasma beta-thromboglobulin levels, platelet factor 4 levels, and 5'-nucleotidase activity were significantly higher than in nonpregnant women (P <.05).

Conclusion: The increase of plasma adenosine may be attributed at least in part to platelet activation and an increase of 5'-nucleotidase activity during normal pregnancy. This increase may be an endogenous compensatory mechanism that diminishes platelet activation and maintains vessel integrity during normal pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase / blood
  • Adenosine / blood*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Platelet Factor 4 / analysis
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Reference Values
  • beta-Thromboglobulin / analysis


  • beta-Thromboglobulin
  • Platelet Factor 4
  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Adenosine