Serum from preeclamptic patients increases rat aorta vascular reactivity independent of endothelial nitric oxide and prostaglandins

Cosmas J.M. Van De Ven, Susan A. Klarr, Robert H. Hayashi, R. Clinton Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To assess whether serum from preeclamptic patients increases vascular reactivity in an endothelium-dependent manner. Methods: Isolated rat thoracic aortae were incubated for 3 and 8 h in serum from preeclamptic patients, normotensive patients, or physiologic buffer. Vascular reactivity was assessed by phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction in the presence and absence of N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine and indomethacin and by acetylcholine and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine-induced relaxation. Results: Aortae incubated in sera from preeclamptic patients showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in sensitivity to phenylephrine (EC50 = 7.71 ± 0.09, -log M) when compared with aortae incubated in normotensive sera (EC50 7.49 ± 0.08, -log M) or buffer (EC50 = 7.41 + 0.08, -log M). After blocking nitric oxide production with N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine or after blocking prostaglandin production with indomethacin, vessels incubated in sera from preeclamptic patients remained more sensitive to phenylephrine than vessels incubated in sera from control patients. Acetylcholine-induced relaxation and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine concentration responses curves were not different. Conclusions: Serum from preeclamptic patients increases the sensitivity to phenylephrine. The increased sensitivity appears independent from endothelial nitric oxide or prostaglandin release. The serum-induced enhanced vascular smooth muscle reactivity therefore may be due to altered vascular smooth muscle function and not to altered endothelial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2 1997
Externally publishedYes



  • Nitric oxide
  • Preeclampsia
  • Prostaglandins
  • Rat aorta
  • Vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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