To evaluate the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, we measured total VEGF, free VEGF and soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) concentrations and determined their relationships. Maternal serum samples were collected from 20 patients with preeclampsia and 20 normotensive women with uncomplicated pregnancies matched with the patients with preeclampsia for gestational age and parity. The serum concentrations of total VEGF (2.39 ± 0.75 vs. 0.28 ± 0.14) and sFlt-1 (934.5 ± 235.5 vs. 298.0 ± 161.2) were significantly increased in the patients with preeclampsia compared to the women with uncomplicated pregnancies. However the serum concentration of free VEGF (21.5 ± 6.3 vs. 134.0 ± 16.3) was lower in patients with preeclampsia. There was a positive correlation between the serum concentrations of total VEGF and sFlt-1 with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. There was a negative correlation between the serum concentration of free VEGF and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. There was a strong negative correlation between free VEGF and sFlt-1 concentrations. In conclusion, we found VEGF and sFlt-1 were related to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Although reduced concentrations of free VEGF might interfere with endothelial cell function and survival, further studies are required to clarify its specific role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
- Vasular endothelial growth factor receptor-1
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