Changes in endothelial cell specific molecule 1 plasma levels during preeclamptic pregnancies compared to healthy pregnancies

Joost H. N. Schuitemaker*, Thomas I. F. H. Cremers, Maria G. Van Pampus, Sicco A. Scherjon, Marijke M. Faas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We aimed to assess the levels of endothelial cell specific molecule 1 (ESM-1) during pregnancy and preeclampsia.

Methods: Plasma and placental samples were collected from women with a control pregnancy, early-or late-onset preeclamptic women and non-pregnant women (experiment 1). Plasma samples were collected between weeks 12 and birth from pregnant women at high risk for developing preeclampsia (experiment 2). ESM-1 plasma levels were measured by ELISA and in the placenta mRNA and protein were detected by immunohistochemistry and qPCR.

Results: In the first experiment we observed lower concentrations of ESM-1 in pregnant women as compared to non-pregnant women and higher concentrations during early- and late-onset preeclampsia as compared to control pregnancies of the same gestational age. Early-and late-onset preeclamptic pregnancies were not different from their subsequent controls in ESM-1 mRNA or protein levels in placental tissue. The second experiment showed that in women who had an control pregnancy, plasma ESM-1 levels were decreased as compared to non-pregnant women, from week 16 +/- 2 until the end of pregnancy and returned to non-pregnant levels postpartum. In women who developed early-or late-onset preeclampsia, plasma ESM-1 was also decreased as compared to non-pregnant women from week 20 +/- 2 until week 28 +/- 2 of pregnancy. Then ESM-1 levels increased and were no longer different from levels in non-pregnant women on weeks 32 and 36.

Conclusions: Plasma ESM-1 levels are decreased during pregnancy and increased in early-and late-onset preeclampsia. The source of ESM-1 is probably not the placenta, but most likely maternal endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalPregnancy Hypertension
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2018


  • ESM-1
  • Endothelial cell specific molecule 1
  • Endocan
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • VEGF-A

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