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Circulation. 2012 Dec 18;126(25):2990-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.127340. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Cytochrome P450 subfamily 2J polypeptide 2 expression and circulating epoxyeicosatrienoic metabolites in preeclampsia.

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Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Lindenberger Weg 80, 13125 Berlin, Germany.



Preeclampsia is a multisystem disorder of pregnancy, originating in the placenta. Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent eicosanoids regulate vascular function, inflammation, and angiogenesis, which are mechanistically important in preeclampsia.


We performed microarray screening of placenta and decidua (maternal placenta) from 25 preeclamptic women and 23 control subjects. The CYP subfamily 2J polypeptide 2 (CYP2J2) was upregulated in preeclamptic placenta and decidua. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction confirmed the upregulation, and immunohistochemistry localized CYP2J2 in trophoblastic villi and deciduas at 12 weeks and term. The CYP2J2 metabolites, 5,6-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET), 14,15-EET, and the corresponding dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids, were elevated in preeclamptic women compared with controls in the latter two thirds of pregnancy and after delivery. Stimulating a trophoblast-derived cell line with the preeclampsia-associated cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α enhanced CYP2J2 gene and protein expression. In 2 independent rat models of preeclampsia, reduced uterine-perfusion rat and the transgenic angiotensin II rat, we observed elevated EET, dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid, and preeclamptic features that were ameliorated by the CYP epoxygenase inhibitor N-(methylsulfonyl)-2-(2-propynyloxy)-benzenehexanamide (MsPPOH). Uterine arterial rings of these rats also dilated in response to MsPPOH. Furthermore, 5,6-EET could be metabolized to a thromboxane analog. In a bioassay, 5,6-EET increased the beating rate of neonatal cardiomyocytes. Blocking thromboxane synthesis reversed that finding and also normalized large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel activity.


Our data implicate CYP2J2 in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and as a potential candidate for the disturbed uteroplacental remodeling, leading to hypertension and endothelial dysfunction.

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