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J Lipid Res. 2013 Oct;54(10):2658-64. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M036699. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Is the atherosclerotic phenotype of preeclamptic placentas due to altered lipoprotein concentrations and placental lipoprotein receptors? Role of a small-for-gestational-age phenotype.

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  • 1Division of Women's Health, Women's Health Academic Centre, King's College London, London, UK.


Atherosis of spiral arteries in uteroplacental beds from preeclamptic women resemble those of atherosclerosis, characterized by increased plasma lipids and lipoproteins. We hypothesized that: 1) lipoprotein receptors/transporters in the placenta would be upregulated in preeclampsia, associated with increased maternal and fetal lipoprotein concentrations; and 2) expression of these would be reduced in preeclamptic placentae from women delivering small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants. Placental biopsies and maternal and umbilical serum samples were taken from 27 normotensive and 24 preeclamptic women. Maternal/umbilical cord serum LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured. Placental mRNA expression of lipoprotein receptors/transporters were quantified using quantitative RT-PCR. Protein localization/expression of LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1) in the preeclamptic placentae with/without SGA was measured by immunohistochemistry. Placental mRNA expression of all genes except paraoxonase-1 (PON-1), microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTTP), and protein disulfide isomerase family A member 2 (PDIA2) were observed. No differences for any lipoprotein receptors/transporters were found between groups; however, in the preeclamptic group placental LRP-1 expression was lower in SGA delivering mothers (n = 7; P = 0.036). LRP-1 protein was localized around fetal vessels and Hofbauer cells. This is the first detailed study of maternal/fetal lipoprotein concentrations and placental lipoprotein receptor mRNA expression in normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies. These findings do not support a role of altered lipid metabolism in preeclampsia, but may be involved in fetal growth.


ATP binding cassette transporter A1; LDL receptor; LDL receptor-related protein 1; fetal growth; high density lipoprotein cholesterol; hypertension; lipids; low density liporotein cholesterol; scavenger receptor class B type 1; triglycerides

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[Available on 2014/10/1]
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