A disturbed balance between angiogenic and antiangiogenic growth factors is a highly accepted mechanism in the pathogenesis of pregnancy-induced hypertension and proteinuria, which is clinically known as preeclampsia (PE). We investigated the effect of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) therapy on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor (PlGF), nitric oxide (NO) metabolites, soluble fm-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and endoglin levels in PE rats and the effect of this treatment on the feto-maternal outcome. The PE group showed hypertension, proteinuria and decreased number and weight of live pups relative to the control group. This result was associated with increased sFlt-1, VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), VEGFR-3 and endoglin levels but decreased NO metabolites. MgSO4 therapy ameliorated systolic hypertension and proteinuria and decreased sFlt-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3 and endoglin levels but increased NO metabolites in the treated group. Physiological and biochemical changes and improved pup weight and viability were observed in the treated group. The vasodilator action of MgSO4 and increased NO production are expected to increase placental blood flow and help fetal nutrition and development. Relief of placental ischemia decreases the production of antiangiogenic growth factors and restores the bioavailability of angiogenic factors (PlGF and VEGF). These changes resulted in better fetal outcome and an improved clinical picture of PE. These findings are promising and encourage further study of the mechanism of action of MgSO4 to support its widespread use in the prevention and management of the etiopathological changes underlying the vast majority of the manifestations and complications of PE.
Source: Hypertension Research/nature.