Background: Numerous recent reports demonstrated that changes in serum levels of angiogenesis-related factors were associated with preeclampsia. Here, we determined the serum concentration of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), a natural antagonist of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) involved in promoting angiogenesis in the presence of angiogenic stimuli such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in women with preeclampsia. Methods: The levels of serum Ang-2 and Tie-2, a receptor for Ang-1 expressed on endothelial cells, were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The concentrations of serum Ang-2 were significantly elevated in healthy pregnant women (18.9 ng/mL) as compared to nonpregnant women or women in postpartum period. Increase in the levels of serum Ang-2 was significantly suppressed in preeclamptic women (4.5 ng/mL). The serum Ang-2 concentrations inversely correlated with gestational age in healthy pregnant women, but not in preeclamptic women. The serum Ang-2 concentrations positively correlated with placental weight or mean blood pressure (BP) in healthy pregnant women, but not in preeclamptic women. The serum Ang-2 concentrations inversely correlated with proteinuria in preeclamptic women. The serum concentrations of Tie-2 were not significantly different between preeclamptic and nonpreeclamptic women. Conclusions: These results suggest the potential requirement of circulating Ang-2 in proper formation of placental vasculatures during pregnancy. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that suppression in the increase of serum Ang-2 levels during pregnancy in preeclampsia as a consequence rather than a cause, measurement of serum Ang-2 concentration in pregnant women may serve as a useful marker in the diagnosis and potentially in predicting subsequent development of preeclampsia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine