Hyperglycemia impairs cytotrophoblast function via stress signaling. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Diabetes mellitus is a risk factor for preeclampsia. Cytotrophoblast (CTB) invasion is facilitated from the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin by urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), regulated by plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), and may be inhibited in preeclampsia. This study assessed signaling mechanisms of hyperglycemia-induced CTB dysfunction. STUDY DESIGN: Human CTBs were treated with 45, 135, 225, 495, or 945 mg/dL glucose for 48 hours. Some cells were pretreated with a p38 inhibitor (SB203580) or a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-) ligand (rosiglitazone). Expression of uPA, PAI-1, and PPAR- levels and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation were measured by Western blot in cell lysates. Messenger ribonucleic acid of uPA and PAI-1 was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Levels of interleukin-6, angiogenic (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], placenta growth factor [PlGF]) and antiangiogenic factors (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 [sFlt-1], soluble endoglin [sEng]) were measured in the media by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Statistical comparisons were performed using analysis of variance with a Duncan's post-hoc test. RESULTS: Both uPA and PAI-1 protein and messenger ribonucleic acid were down-regulated (P < .05) in CTBs treated with 135 mg/dL glucose or greater compared with basal (45 mg/dL). The sEng, sFlt-1, and interleukin-6 were up-regulated, whereas the VEGF and PlGF were down-regulated by 135 mg/dL glucose or greater. p38 phosphorylation and PPAR- were up-regulated (P < .05) in hyperglycemia-treated CTBs. The SB203580 or rosiglitazone pretreatment showed an attenuation of glucose-induced down-regulation of uPA and PAI-1. CONCLUSION: Hyperglycemia disrupts the invasive profile of CTB by decreasing uPA and PAI-1 expression; down-regulating VEGF and PlGF; and up-regulating sEng, sFlt-1, and interleukin-6. Attenuation of CTB dysfunction by SB203580 or rosiglitazone pretreatment suggests the involvement of stress signaling.

published proceedings

  • Am J Obstet Gynecol

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Cawyer, C. R., Horvat, D., Leonard, D., Allen, S. R., Jones, R. O., Zawieja, D. C., Kuehl, T. J., & Uddin, M. N.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Cawyer, Chase R||Horvat, Darijana||Leonard, Dean||Allen, Steven R||Jones, Richard O||Zawieja, David C||Kuehl, Thomas J||Uddin, Mohammad N

publication date

  • November 2014