, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 440-447
Date: 09 Jan 2009

Are we getting closer to a Nobel Prize for unraveling preeclampsia?

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Abstract

Preeclampsia is the major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, involving 15% to 20% of pregnancies in developed countries and even more in less developed parts of the world. Superficial placentation driven by immune maladaptation, with subsequently reduced concentrations of angiogenic growth factors and increased placental debris in the maternal circulation, are likely responsible. Recent advances suggest that antiangiogenic factors (soluble fms-like tyrosine receptor kinase and soluble endoglin), altered relaxin-mediated mechanisms leading to impaired nitric oxide production through asymmetrical dimethylarginine production, and activating antibodies directed at the angiotensin II type 1 receptor may be responsible. The field of preeclampsia research is enjoying a well-deserved blossoming of novel ideas and approaches. We hope the activity will lead to much earlier diagnostic capacities and novel prophylactic treatments. The prize will go to the affected women and their afflicted children. For the investigators in the area, such a prize would be welcome.