The Protective Effect of Apolipoprotein in Models of Trophoblast Invasion and Preeclampsia

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2017 Jan 1;312(1):R40-R48. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00331.2016. Epub 2016 Nov 2.


Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. It is associated with abnormal placentation via poor placental invasion of the uterine vasculature by trophoblast cells, leading to poor placental perfusion, oxidative stress, and inflammation, all of which are implicated in its pathogenesis. A dyslipidemia characterized by low plasma levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and elevated triglycerides has been described in preeclampsia. Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), a constituent of HDL is an anti-inflammatory agent. This study investigated whether apoA-I protects against hypertension and adverse placental changes in a proinflammatory cytokine (TNF-α)-induced model of preeclampsia. Further, this study investigated whether apoA-I protects against the inhibitory effect of TNF-α in a human in vitro model of trophoblast invasion. Administration of apoA-I to pregnant mice before infusion with TNF-α resulted in a significant reduction in the cytokine-induced increase in systolic blood pressure. MRI measurement of T2 relaxation, a parameter that is tissue specific and sensitive to physiological changes within tissues, showed a reversal of TNF-α-induced placental changes. Preincubation of endothelial cells with apoA-I protected against the TNF-α-induced inhibition of HTR-8/SVneo (trophoblast) cell integration into endothelial (UtMVEC) networks. These data suggest that a healthy lipid profile may affect pregnancy outcomes by priming endothelial cells in preparation for trophoblast invasion.

Keywords: apolipoprotein A-I; hypertension in pregnancy; magnetic resonance imaging; preeclampsia; trophoblast invasion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / administration & dosage*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Placenta / drug effects
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / metabolism*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / pathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism*
  • Trophoblasts / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / administration & dosage


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha