Elevated ratio of maternal plasma ApoCIII to ApoCII in preeclampsia

Reprod Sci. 2011 May;18(5):493-502. doi: 10.1177/1933719110390390. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder unique to pregnancy. Although the pathogenesis of the disease begins with aberrant spiral artery invasion in the first trimester, clinical symptoms usually do not present until late in pregnancy. Apolipoprotein CII (ApoCII) and its negative regulator, apolipoprotein CIII (ApoCIII), have recently been described as atherogenesis biomarkers in models of cardiovascular disease. Given the similarities in pathology, etiology, and clinical presentation between cardiovascular disease and preeclampsia, we hypothesized that the ratio of ApoCIII to ApoCII in maternal first trimester plasma would predict preeclampsia later in pregnancy. To test this hypothesis, plasma was prospectively collected from 311 nulliparas at 8 to 12 weeks gestation. After delivery, patients were divided into cohorts based on preeclampsia diagnosis. Conditioning monocytes with preeclamptic plasma potentiated monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells in an in vitro model. The ratio of ApoCIII to ApoCII was significantly elevated in patients with severe preeclampsia relative to normotensive and gestational hypertensive individuals (P < .05) as determined by mass spectrometry and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays. These results support a predictive change in the ratio of ApoCIII to ApoCII in pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoprotein C-II / blood*
  • Apolipoprotein C-III / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / diagnosis
  • U937 Cells
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoprotein C-II
  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Biomarkers