Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 in human placenta and placental bed after normal and pre-eclamptic pregnancies

B. Wetzka, R. Nusing, D. S. Charnock-Jones, W. Schafer, H. P. Zahradnik, S. K. Smith
1997 Human Reproduction  
In pre-eclampsia, the ratio of prostacyclin:thromboxane production rate is decreased favouring the vasoconstrictive thromboxane. One of the rate-limiting steps in prostaglandin synthesis is cyclooxygenase (COX) activity. Therefore, we investigated the expression of COX-1 and COX-2 in human placenta and placental bed. Tissue specimens from the 29th to 40th week of pregnancy were obtained from Caesarean sections after uncomplicated and preeclamptic pregnancies before the onset of labour. COX-1
more » ... of labour. COX-1 and COX-2 were localized immunohistochemically with the identification of positive cells by double immunofluorescence staining. The protein and mRNA levels were analysed by immunoblotting and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of both COX-1 and COX-2 could be observed in placenta and placental bed. COX-1-like immunoreactivity was observed in most cell types with strongest staining in macrophages. Only macrophages, endothelium, vascular leiomyocytes and fibroblasts stained positively for COX-2. In placenta, COX-1 and -2 expression was unchanged after pre-eclampsia. In placental bed, protein and mRNA levels of COX-1 were increased in the pre-eclamptic group (P Ͻ 0.05), whereas COX-2 expression did not differ significantly from normal pregnancies. An increased expression of COX-1 could be involved in the pathophysiology of pre-eclamptic changes within the placental bed. A therapy with drugs inhibiting COX-1 might be beneficial in this condition. Key words: COX-1/COX-2/placenta/placental bed/pre-eclampsia show a different level of expression in pre-eclampsia and therefore is it inhibited selectively with new COX-1-or -2specific NSAID currently under development? Materials and methods
doi:10.1093/humrep/12.10.2313 pmid:9402302 fatcat:6mqwlz5y7bfmzogroxikegeo64