Objective: To compare the levels of 3 oxidative stress markers (glutathione peroxidase [GPX], superoxide dismutase [SOD], and malondialdehyde [MDA]) and 2 antioxidants (vitamin C and lycopene) in healthy and pre-eclamptic pregnant women.
Methods: Circulating levels of GPX, SOD, MDA, vitamin C and lycopene were measured in 50 healthy pregnant women and 50 women with pre-eclampsia (PE) (41 with mild PE and 9 with severe PE) attending the antenatal clinic or admitted to the maternity ward of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Results: The levels of GPX, SOD and MDA were significantly higher in women with PE than in controls, and the increase was higher in women with severe PE (P<0.001 using analysis of variance and the Kruskal Wallis test). The levels of vitamin C and lycopene were significantly lower in women with PE than in controls, with a greater decrease in women with severe PE.
Conclusion: Increased levels of oxidative stress markers and decreased levels of antioxidants in pre-eclamptic women suggest that oxidative stress markers play a significant role in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia, and that supplemental dietary antioxidants may have a beneficial role in the prevention of pre-eclampsia in women at high-risk for this condition.