The potential impact of the fetal genotype on maternal blood pressure during pregnancy

J Hypertens. 2014 Aug;32(8):1553-61; discussion 1561. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000212.


The heritability of pregnancy-induced hypertension (encompassing both gestational hypertension and preeclampsia) is around 0.47, suggesting that there is a genetic component to its development. However, the maternal genetic risk variants discovered so far only account for a small proportion of the heritability. Other genetic variants that may affect maternal blood pressure in pregnancy arise from the fetal genome, for example wild-type pregnant mice carrying offspring with Cdkn1c or Stox1 disrupted develop hypertension and proteinuria. In humans, there is a higher risk for preeclampsia in women carrying fetuses with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (including those fetuses with CDKN1C mutations) and a lower risk for women carrying babies with trisomy 21. Other risk may be associated with imprinted fetal growth genes and genes that are highly expressed in the placenta such as GCM1. This article reviews the current state of knowledge linking the fetal genotype with maternal blood pressure in pregnancy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy