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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Feb;174(2):787-93.

Endothelial cell proliferation is suppressed by plasma but not serum from women with preeclampsia.

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Harris Birthright Pre-eclampsia Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.



Evidence has been sought for a circulating factor derived from the placenta that suppresses endothelial cell proliferation and hence contributes to the maternal endothelial cell disturbances of preeclampsia.


The effects of sera and plasmas from women with proteinuric preeclampsia and from matched normal pregnant control women on endothelial cell proliferation were compared. The recovery of endothelial cell inhibitory activity from syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles added to male blood and prepared as plasma or serum was determined to investigate the possible placental origin of the inhibitory factor.


Sera from women with preeclampsia did not inhibit endothelial cell proliferation. In contrast, plasma from preeclamptic women significantly suppressed endothelial cell growth at 20% dilution compared with controls, and suppression was more pronounced in severe preeclampsia. The inhibitory activity of syncytiotrophoblast microvesicles added to blood could not be recovered from serum, only from plasma, which may explain why there was no suppression with sera from preeclamptic women.


These results confirm that there is a blood-borne endothelial cell suppressive factor in preeclampsia that may be derived from the placenta.

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