RUDN University doctors studied immunohistochemical markers in patients with normal pregnancy and preeclampsia and noticed patterns. They not only provide new insight into the mechanics of the pathology but also open up a new potential therapeutic target for its treatment. The results were published in Placenta.
Newswise — One of the most dangerous complications during pregnancy is preeclampsia. This pathology affects several body systems at once. Arterial hypertension, proteinuria, edema, and multiple organ failure occur. The causes and mechanisms of the disease are not fully understood. One version is associated with immune cells - macrophages, which can become pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents. Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) is partly responsible for the anti-inflammatory activation of macrophages. Doctors from RUDN University together with colleagues from the V.I. Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology studied the role of this protein in preeclampsia and discovered a new potential approach to the treatment of this disease.
“Transforming growth factor beta is responsible for the anti-inflammatory activation of macrophages in preeclampsia. However, its role is not fully understood. There are separate studies, but they studied macrophages in the fetal part of the placenta. We decided to study TGFβ and its receptor in placental tissue,” Polina Vishnyakova, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Histology, Cytology, and Embryology of RUDN University, Head of the Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine of the V.I. Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology said.
The study was conducted on 30 patients. In 10 of them, pregnancy proceeded without complications. The rest were diagnosed with early or late preeclampsia - 10 patients from each group. The scientists examined placental tissue samples using immunohistochemical analysis, Western blotting, PCR, and other tests.
In both groups with preeclampsia, decreased activity of genes corresponding to the TGFβ receptor and CD206 proteins was found. The scientists then discovered that these genes were linked through a specific microRNA (small non-coding RNA molecule), miR-27a. RUDN doctors concluded that this molecule plays an important role in the regulation of TGFβ. First, it provides new insights into the mechanisms of preeclampsia. Secondly, this means that it may be possible to artificially manipulate TGFβ and thus potentially treat preeclampsia.
“Our results reveal a new potential therapeutic target for patients with preeclampsia. This provides a deeper understanding of the basic mechanisms that are involved in the development of this pathology and new treatment options,” Polina Vishnyakova, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Histology, Cytology, and Embryology of RUDN University, Head of the Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine of the V.I. Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology said.