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Circ Res. 2001 Jun 8;88(11):1210-5.

Elevated levels of S-nitrosoalbumin in preeclampsia plasma.

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15238, USA.


The availability of nitric oxide (NO), which is required for the normal regulation of vascular tone, may be decreased in preeclampsia, thus contributing to the vascular pathogenesis of this pregnancy disorder. Because ascorbate is essential for the decomposition of S-nitrothiols and the release of NO, we speculated that the ascorbate deficiency typical of preeclampsia plasma might result in decreased rates of decomposition of S-nitrosothiols. We tested the hypothesis that total S-nitrosothiol and S-nitrosoalbumin concentrations are increased in preeclampsia plasma, reflecting a decreased release of NO from these major reservoirs of NO. Gestationally matched plasma samples were obtained (before labor or intravenous MgSO(4)) from 21 women with preeclampsia and 21 women with normal pregnancy, and plasma samples were also obtained from 12 nonpregnant women of similar age and body mass index during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. All were nonsmokers. The assay included ultraviolet-induced decomposition of S-nitrosothiols to liberate NO captured by a florigenic reagent, 4,5-diaminofluoresceine, to produce diaminofluoresceine-Triazole. Preeclampsia plasma contained significantly higher concentrations of total S-nitrosothiols (11.1+/-2.9 nmol/mL) than normal pregnancy samples (9.4+/-1.5 nmol/mL). Even greater differences were found between preeclampsia plasma and plasma samples from normal pregnancies and nonpregnant women (294+/-110, 186+/-25, and 151+/-25 pmol/mg protein, respectively) when S-nitrosothiol content was expressed per milligram protein. The albumin fraction contained 49.4% of total plasma S-nitrosothiols in the control samples and 53.7% and 56.8% of plasma S-nitrosothiols in normal pregnancy and preeclampsia, respectively. The level of S-nitrosoalbumin was significantly higher in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy or nonpregnancy plasma (6.3+/-1.4, 5.1+/-0.7, and 4.2+/-1.0 nmol/mL, respectively). The increased concentration of S-nitrosoalbumin in preeclampsia almost completely accounted for the increased levels of S-nitrosothiols in total plasma. Due to combined increases in nitrosothiols and decreases in protein, the preeclampsia plasma concentration of S-nitrosoalbumin was greatly increased on a per milligram of protein basis (271% and 186% compared with normal nonpregnancy and normal pregnancy plasma, respectively). We conclude that S-nitrosoalbumin and total S-nitrosothiol concentrations are significantly increased in preeclampsia plasma and may reflect insufficient release of NO groups in this condition.

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