Preeclampsia: the effects of serum on endothelial cell prostacyclin, endothelin, and cell membrane integrity

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Feb;174(2):737-43. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70458-1.


Objective: Our purpose was to determine whether serum from women with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension (1) decreased endothelial cell prostacyclin, (2) increased endothelial cell endothelin, and (3) caused endothelial cell damage.

Study design: Production of 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha and endothelin by cultured endothelial cells was measured after 48 hours' incubation with sera from 23 nonpregnant women, 23 normal pregnant women, 12 women with preeclampsia, and 11 women with gestational hypertension. Structure damage of endothelial cells was assessed by a chromium release assay.

Results: Serum from normal pregnant women induced more endothelial prostacyclin but less endothelin than did serum form nonpregnant women (p<0.05). No difference was found between normal pregnant and hypertensive pregnant women for prostacyclin production, but serum of preeclamptic women induced less endothelin production than did that of normal pregnant women (p<0.05). Chromium 51 release by endothelial cells was similar between normal pregnant and hypertensive pregnant groups.

Conclusions: Serum from preeclamptic women stimulates less endothelin production than does serum from normal pregnant women but does not alter prostacyclin production and is not cytotoxic to endothelial cells after short-term incubation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha / biosynthesis
  • Blood*
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromium Radioisotopes / metabolism
  • Culture Media*
  • Endothelins / biosynthesis*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / ultrastructure
  • Epoprostenol / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Umbilical Veins


  • Chromium Radioisotopes
  • Culture Media
  • Endothelins
  • 6-Ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha
  • Epoprostenol