Objective: The present study was designed to determine plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide concentration in both maternal and fetal circulations in normotensive and pre-eclamptic pregnancies and investigate whether placenta is 1 of its origins. Study design: Maternal blood, cord blood, and villous tissue were collected from women in normotensive pregnancies and complicated with pre-eclampsia. Calcitonin gene-related peptide concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay. Cellular localizations of calcitonin gene-related peptide messenger ribonucleic acid and protein expressions in placental villi were determined by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Results: The following results were reached: (1) maternal plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide concentrations increased with advancing gestation but fell after delivery; (2) both maternal and cord plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide concentrations were positively correlated with the infant birth weights; (3) compared with normotensive pregnancies, calcitonin gene-related peptide levels in both maternal and cord plasma decreased in pregnancies with pre-eclampsia; (4) in normotensive pregnancies, the plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide of the umbilical vein was higher than the umbilical artery, but no significant differences between vein and artery in pre-eclampsia; (5) calcitonin gene-related peptide messenger ribonucleic acid and protein were expressed by syncytiotrophoblast cells and villous vascular endothelial cells in normotensive pregnancies, but only weak or absent staining was observed in pre-eclamptic placentas; and (6) calcitonin gene-related peptide is secreted by villous tissue in explant culture in a time-dependent manner, but less calcitonin gene-related peptide was produced by villous tissues from patients with pre-eclampsia. Conclusion: Calcitonin gene-related peptide may play potential roles in maternal hemodynamic adaptation and fetal growth. Decreased circulating calcitonin gene-related peptide levels may be involved in maternal-fetal pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia. It is novel that placenta villous tissues might be one of the potential sources of calcitonin gene-related peptide during pregnancy.
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology