Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 317–327 | Cite as

Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in severe preeclampsia

  • Xiaofang Wang
  • Zhan Zhang
  • Xianxu Zeng
  • Jinming Wang
  • Linlin Zhang
  • Wanyu Song
  • Ying Shi
Original Paper


This study aims to elucidate the mechanisms of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in the development of preeclampsia (PE). The mRNA levels of Wnt1, β-catenin, c-myc and cyclinD1 were determined by real-time PCR in the placentas. Moreover, the expression levels of Wnt1, β-catenin, Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) proteins were detected by Western blot. Immunohistochemistry was used in placental tissue microarray to localize the expression of Wnt1, β-catenin, DKK1 proteins in the placentas of two groups. Compared with the control placentas, the mRNA levels of Wnt1, β-catenin, c-myc and cyclinD1 were decreased in the severe preeclamptic placentas. The Western blot results showed that the expression levels of Wnt1, β-catenin, and GSK-3β proteins were significantly elevated in the control group, while the expression level of DKK1 was significantly decreased. In addition, the staining intensity of Wnt1, β-catenin were weaker in the placentas of the severe PE group while the staining intensity of DKK1 was significantly stronger in the placentas of the severe PE group. Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of PE by regulating the invasion and proliferation of trophoblast.


Wnt1 β-Catenin Preeclampsia Trophoblast Placenta 



The present study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Number 81501285).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical LaboratoryThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of PathologyThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe People’s Hospital of Henan ProvinceZhengzhouChina
  5. 5.The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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