Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific hypertensive disorder characterized by proteinuria, and vascular injury in the second half of pregnancy. We hypothesized that endothelium-dependent vascular dysfunction is present in a murine model of preeclampsia based on administration of human preeclamptic sera to interleukin-10-/- mice and studied mechanisms that underlie vascular injury. Pregnant wild type and IL-10-/- mice were injected with either normotensive or severe preeclamptic patient sera (sPE) during gestation. A preeclampsia-like phenotype was confirmed by blood pressure measurements; assessment of albuminuria; measurement of angiogenic factors; demonstration of foot process effacement and endotheliosis in kidney sections; and by accumulation of glycogen in placentas from IL-10-/- mice injected with sPE sera (IL-10-/-sPE). Vasomotor function of isolated aortas was assessed. The IL-10-/-sPE murine model demonstrated significantly augmented aortic contractions to phenylephrine and both impaired endothelium-dependent and, to a lesser extent, endothelium-independent relaxation compared to wild type normotensive mice. Treatment of isolated aortas with indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, improved, but failed to normalize contraction to phenylephrine to that of wild type normotensive mice, suggesting the additional contribution from nitric oxide downregulation and effects of indomethacin-resistant vasoconstricting factors. In contrast, indomethacin normalized relaxation of aortas derived from IL-10-/-sPE mice. Thus, our results identify the role of IL-10 deficiency in dysregulation of the cyclooxygenase pathway and vascular dysfunction in the IL-10-/-sPE murine model of preeclampsia and point towards a possible contribution of nitric oxide dysregulation. These compounds and related mechanisms may serve both as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for preventive and treatment strategies in preeclampsia.
- vascular reactivity
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