Increasing Evidence for and Regulation of a Human Placental Endogenous Digitalis-Like Factor
Endogenous digitalis-like factors (EDLFs) appear to be hypertensiogenic and increased in the serum and placenta of women with preeclampsia (PE), a complication of pregnancy. Digibind, an anti-digoxin antibody Fab fragment, reverses in vitro effects of EDLF and in vivo features of PE. We used Digibind in a radioimmunoassay to measure EDLF and compared this to a bio-functional assay of EDLF with good agreement. These methods confirmed that human placenta was a source of EDLF, synthesizing and releasing EDLF into the media of cultured human placental tissue. Ketoconazole, a steroid synthesis inhibitor, and 17-OH progesterone, a possible substrate of steroid synthesis, were shown to inhibit or increase EDLF release respectively, suggesting overlap of synthetic pathways. Abnormalities of PE such as placental hypoxia, increased reactive oxygen species and increased proinflammatory cytokines were demonstrated to increase placental EDLF release. These findings strongly support placental production of EDLF with increased release due to features of PE.
Keywordsdigitalis-like factors Digibind placenta ketoconazole 17-OH progesterone tumor necrosis factor-alpha reactive oxygen species hypoxia
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