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Prenat Diagn. 2008 Oct;28(10):956-61. doi: 10.1002/pd.2109.

Gene expression in chorionic villous samples at 11 weeks' gestation from women destined to develop preeclampsia.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Division of Prenatal Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



To evaluate the direct alterations in mRNA expression among chorionic villous samples from 11 weeks' pregnant women who would develop preeclampsia (PE) later in the pregnancy.


Case-control study encompassing five women destined to develop PE [cases matched 1:5 for gestational age (GA) with 25 controls]. We quantified mRNA expression on tissue samples from chorionic villous sampling (CVS) of normal and PE patients. We then assessed mRNA expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA), VEGFA receptor 1 (Flt-1), endoglin (Eng), placental growth factor (PlGF), transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Data were analyzed by nonparametric rank analysis.


For all the mRNA species considered in this study, all the mean observed ranks in the PE group were significantly altered compared to the rank expectation among controls. mRNA for Eng and TGF-beta1 were the markers with the highest degree of aberration in PE, in respect to controls. The results are consistent with those already reported for the corresponding circulating proteins. mRNA for HO-1 and SOD were instead associated with the lowest aberration.


It is assumed that the pathogenesis of PE is associated with pathophysiological alterations to trophoblasts in early gestation. Our study has directly proved that gene expressions relating to angiogenesis or oxidative stress are altered in the first trimester trophoblasts that go on to develop PE later. These results would put the basis for a possible screening method for PE by using residual CVS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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