Evaluation of placental protein modifications in normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats

Placenta. 2008 May;29(5):429-35. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Mar 21.


Hypertension in pregnancy is often associated to placental deficiency. Therefore several physiopathological modifications occur to sustain fetal well-being through protective mechanisms. Here, we used spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) counterpart to evaluate in late gestation (d 20) modification of placental proteins involved in adaptation to hypertension. Placenta from WKY and SHR was excised for the evaluation of protein changes by Western blot analysis and zymography. In particular, we showed in SHR placentas an increase in angiotensin receptor type 1 and a decrease in angiotensin converting enzyme. Conversely, inducible nitric oxide synthase expression was increased, while constitutive endothelial nitric oxide synthase was similar in both groups. Placentas from SHR showed a reduced protein expression in both peroxisome proliferators-activated receptors-alpha and -gamma. Pro-metalloproteinase-9 activity was not significantly modified, whereas both pro-metalloproteinase-2 and its active form present a higher activity in SHR placentas. Moreover, at the end of pregnancy, cyclooxygenase-2 expression decreased in SHR placentas. These data may provide new insights into the placental adaptive mechanisms that take place during pregnancy in SHR.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • Metalloproteases / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • PPAR alpha / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy, Animal*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism


  • PPAR alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • Pregnancy Proteins
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos2 protein, rat
  • Nos3 protein, rat
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Metalloproteases
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A