The effects of preeclampsia on the maternal cardiovascular system: Gene expression and its (epigenetic) regulation in experimentel preeclamptic cardiovascular tissues and cells

Simone V. Lip


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    Formerly preeclamptic women have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in later life. In this thesis we investigated if during preeclampsia the cardiovascular system is damaged/altered, contributing to this increased risk. This not only teaches us more about the effect of preeclampsia on CVD, but possibly also about why CVD develop differently in women than in men.
    With our animal model for preeclampsia in rat (experimental preeclampsia), we showed that preeclampsia influences gene expression in blood vessels. We also discovered that both experimental preeclampsia and a healthy pregnancy in rats have long-term effects on gene expression in the heart. To translate our results from animal experiments to humans, we examined if human cells (endothelial and smooth muscle cells, both part of the vessel wall), incubated with plasma from preeclamptic patients underwent the same changes in gene expression. After incubation with plasma from preeclamptic patients of endothelial and smooth muscle cells we indeed found comparable differences in gene expression as we had shown in our animal model. This indicates that factors in the plasma of preeclamptic patients can induce these gene expression changes. Our results imply that (experimental) preeclampsia has a direct effect on both the vasculature and the heart of the mother. Additionally, we also showed gene expression differences in endothelial cells from the umbilical cord of boys differ from those of girls. These direct effects of preeclampsia on the cardiovascular system can contribute to the increased risk for CVD after preeclampsia. Together with the early differences in endothelial cells between genders, our results also contribute to our understanding of the differences in CVD between women and men.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Plosch, Torsten, Supervisor
    • Faas, Marijke, Supervisor
    • Scherjon, Sicco, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning26-aug-2020
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    Gedrukte ISBN's9789464024517
    StatusPublished - 2020

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