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Mol Med. 2008 Sep-Oct;14(9-10):561-6. doi: 10.2119/2008-00009.Liu.

HSP70 is associated with endothelial activation in placental vascular diseases.

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Department of Hematology, Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China.


Endothelial cell injury and activation in the placenta are features of placental vascular disease (PVD). While advances in PVD have been made, the pathogenesis of this disease is still unknown. The objective of this study was to pursue potential risk factors and signal transcription pathways involved in PVD pathogenesis. Gene expression in subjects with PVD and with normal pregnancies was compared using a two-channel microarray technique. Higher expression of HSPA6 and HSPA1A was exhibited in PVD subjects. HSPA6 and HSPA1A both encode HSP70, and, therefore, we localized HSP70 expression in placental tissue. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blot, we observed a significant upregulation of HSP70 in both mRNA and protein levels in placental tissue and microvascular endothelial cells of PVD subjects when compared with normal pregnancies (P< 0.05). HSP70 mRNA and protein expression also correlated negatively with infant birth weight (P< 0.05). HSP70 was expressed mainly in endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in the placental microvessels. We therefore conclude that HSP70 may mediate endothelial activation and play a role in pathogenesis of PVD.

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