Send to

Choose Destination
Placenta. 2001 Apr;22(4):304-8.

Placental superoxide is increased in pre-eclampsia.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands. J.M.Sikkema@AZU.NL


One of the current hypotheses on the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia (PE) states that the placenta secretes one or more cytotoxic factors resulting in maternal endothelial dysfunction. Among the candidate factors are the products of increased oxidative stress. Although there is circumstantial evidence of such an increase, direct evidence is still lacking. Electron paramagnetic spin trap resonance (EPR), the most direct method to detect free radicals in tissues, was used to measure superoxide levels in placentae from normal pregnancies (n=13) and pregnancies complicated by PE (n=10). The superoxide level was significantly increased in the placental tissue of pre-eclamptic women. Moreover, upon inhibition of Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity the relative increase of the superoxide levels was significantly smaller in the placentae from the PE patients, implying decreased basal Cu-Zn SOD activity. These findings lend direct support to the hypothesis that oxidative stress in placental tissue is increased in PE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center