Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a potent vasodilatory peptide, and its concentration is increased in both maternal and fetal circulation during late pregnancy. The present study was designed to investigate the expression of CGRP receptor components, calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR), and receptor activity modifying protein 1 (RAMP1), and the relaxation response to CGRP in fetoplacental vessels from normotensive pregnant women and women with preeclampsia. Results showed that: 1) mRNA for both CRLR and RAMP1 was expressed in fetoplacental vessels from normal pregnancies; however, these mRNA expressions were substantially reduced in the vessels from preeclamptic women; 2) CRLR and RAMP1 proteins were abundantly expressed in the endothelium and smooth muscle layer of the fetoplacental vessels, as well as the trophoblast cells in normal placentas. In contrast, both vascular tissues and trophoblasts showed decreased expressions for CRLR and RAMP1 proteins and declined CGRP binding sites in preeclamptic placentas; and 3) CGRP produced a dose-dependent relaxation of serotonin-induced contraction of umbilical and chorionic arteries from normal pregnancies, but the response to CGRP was significantly attenuated in the vessels from preeclampsia. We concluded that CGRP may contribute to the low fetoplacental vascular resistance in normal pregnancies; however, CGRP-dependent vascular relaxation appears to be compromised in preeclamptic pregnancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical