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Zamudio S.,Hackensack University Medical Center | Echalar L.,University San Andreas Mayor | Vargas E.,University San Andreas Mayor | Torricos T.,Hospital Hernandez Vera | And 3 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2014

One causal model of preeclampsia (PE) postulates that placental hypoxia alters the production of angiogenic growth effectors (AGEs), causing an imbalance leading to maternal endothelial cell dysfunction. We tested this model using the natural experiment of high-altitude (HA) residence. We hypothesized that in HA pregnancies 1) circulating soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) is increased and placental growth factor (PlGF) decreased, and 2) AGE concentrations correlate with measures of hypoxia. A cross-sectional study of healthy pregnancies at low altitude (LA) (400 m) versus HA (3600 m) compared normal (n = 80 at HA, n = 90 at LA) and PE pregnancies (n = 20 PE at HA, n = 19 PE at LA). Blood was collected using standard serum separation and, in parallel, by a method designed to inhibit platelet activation. AGEs were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. AGEs did not differ between altitudes in normal or PE pregnancies. AGE concentrations were unrelated to measures of maternal or fetal hypoxia. PlGF was lower and sFlt-1 higher in PE, but overlapped considerably with the range observed in normal samples. PlGF correlated with placental mass in both normal and PE pregnancies. The contribution of peripheral cells to the values measured for AGEs was similar at LA and HA, but was greater in PE than in normotensive women. Hypoxia, across a wide physiological range in pregnancy, does not alter levels of circulating AGEs in otherwise normal pregnancies. Peripheral cell release of AGEs with the hemostasis characteristic of standard blood collection is highly variable and contributes to a doubling of the amount of sFlt-1 measured in PE as compared to normal pregnancies. © 2014 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

Zamudio S.,Rutgers University | Torricos T.,Hospital Hernandez Vera | Torricos T.,University San Andreas Mayor | Fik E.,Rutgers University | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The most well known reproductive consequence of residence at high altitude (HA > 2700 m) is reduction in fetal growth. Reduced fetoplacental oxygenation is an underlying cause of pregnancy pathologies, including intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia, which are more common at HA. Therefore, altitude is a natural experimental model to study the etiology of pregnancy pathophysiologies. We have shown that the proximate cause of decreased fetal growth is not reduced oxygen availability, delivery, or consumption. We therefore asked whether glucose, the primary substrate for fetal growth, might be decreased and/or whether altered fetoplacental glucose metabolism might account for reduced fetal growth at HA. Methods: Doppler and ultrasound were used to measure maternal uterine and fetal umbilical blood flows in 69 and 58 residents of 400 vs 3600 m. Arterial and venous blood samples from mother and fetus were collected at elective cesarean delivery and analyzed for glucose, lactate and insulin. Maternal delivery and fetal uptakes for oxygen and glucose were calculated. Principal Findings: The maternal arterial - venous glucose concentration difference was greater at HA. However, umbilical venous and arterial glucose concentrations were markedly decreased, resulting in lower glucose delivery at 3600 m. Fetal glucose consumption was reduced by > 28%, but strongly correlated with glucose delivery, highlighting the relevance of glucose concentration to fetal uptake. At altitude, fetal lactate levels were increased, insulin concentrations decreased, and the expression of GLUT1 glucose transporter protein in the placental basal membrane was reduced. Conclusion/Significance: Our results support that preferential anaerobic consumption of glucose by the placenta at high altitude spares oxygen for fetal use, but limits glucose availability for fetal growth. Thus reduced fetal growth at high altitude is associated with fetal hypoglycemia, hypoinsulinemia and a trend towards lactacidemia. Our data support that placentally-mediated reduction in glucose transport is an initiating factor for reduced fetal growth under conditions of chronic hypoxemia. © 2010 Zamudio et al.

Zamudio S.,Hackensack University Medical Center | Kovalenko O.,New Jersey Medical School | Echalar L.,University San Andreas Mayor | Torricos T.,Hospital Hernandez Vera | And 3 more authors.
Placenta | Year: 2013

Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia (PE) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are associated with reduced blood flow, contributing to placental and fetal hypoxia. Placental hypoxia is thought to cause altered production of angiogenic growth effectors (AGEs), reflected in the circulation of mother and fetus. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor (PlGF) and their soluble binding protein (sFlt-1) are, in turn, postulated as being causally involved in PE via induction of systemic endothelial cell dysfunction. To dissect the role of AGEs, accurate measurement is of great importance. However, the values of AGEs are highly variable, contributing to heterogeneity in their association (or lack thereof) with preeclampsia. To test the hypothesis that variability may be due to peripheral cell release of AGEs we obtained blood samples from normal healthy pregnant women (n = 90) and the cord blood of a subset of their neonates using standard serum separation and compared results obtained in parallel samples collected into reagents designed to inhibit peripheral cell activation (sodium citrate, theophylline, adenosine and dipyridamole-CTAD). AGEs were measured by ELISA. CTAD collection reduced maternal and fetal free VEGF by 83%, and 98%, respectively. Free PlGF was decreased by 29%, maternal sFlt-1 by >20% and fetal sFlt-1 by 59% in the CTAD-treated vs. serum sample (p < 0.0001). In summary blood collection techniques can profoundly alter measured concentrations of AGEs in mother and fetus. This process is highly variable, contributes to variation reported in the literature, and renders questionable the true impact of alteration in AGEs on pregnancy pathologies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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