Similar pro-NT and pro-RLX2 levels after preeclampsia and after uncomplicated pregnancy

Maturitas. 2017 Dec;106:87-91. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.007. Epub 2017 Sep 22.


Objective: Women are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) after preeclampsia. Proneurotensin 1-117 (pro-NT) and prorelaxin 2 connecting peptide (pro-RLX2) have recently emerged as potential biomarkers for CVD risk in women. We assessed pro-NT and pro-RLX2 levels in women with and without a history of preeclampsia.

Study design: 339 women with a history of early-onset preeclampsia and 327 women with an uncomplicated pregnancy underwent cardiovascular screening 10 years after delivery (the Preeclampsia Risk EValuation in FEMales (PREVFEM) cohort).

Main outcome measures: Pro-NT, a stable fragment of the neurotensin precursor, was assessed in the whole cohort. Pro-RLX2, the stable connecting peptide of the relaxin 2 prohormone, was assessed in a subset of this cohort, consisting of 27 women with a history of preeclampsia and 23 healthy controls. Associations between biomarker levels and traditional CVD risk factors in the preeclampsia and control group were assessed by Pearson's correlation coefficient.

Results: We found no differences in pro-NT and pro-RLX2 levels between the preeclampsia and control group. Pro-NT levels were associated with higher HbA1c levels (r=0.113, p-value 0.045) and with BMI (r=0.124, p-value 0.027), but only in the control group. Pro-RLX2 was related to current smoking and triglyceride levels in women with a history of preeclampsia and related to LDL-cholesterol in women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Conclusions: Pro-NT and pro-RLX2 levels were comparable in women 10 years after preeclampsia and women with an uncomplicated pregnancy. The role of pro-NT and pro-RLX2 in CVD development after preeclampsia should be further investigated.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Cardiovascular disease; Preeclampsia; Pro-NT; Pro-RLX2.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotensin / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Relaxin / blood*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Protein Precursors
  • proneurotensin
  • Neurotensin
  • prorelaxin
  • Relaxin