Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

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Expand view Topic review: Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

Re: Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

Post by caryn » Sat Jun 30, 2012 08:26 pm

I know you weren't!

The thing is, researchers are checking to see if folic acid helps somehow - but no one really expects a single-molecule therapy to help at this stage of our understanding. There *is* something wonky about the way that pathway is behaving in our pregnancies, but epigenetics is complex stuff and it will take more poking at the problem to figure out how to address it theraputically.

I'm always so excited to see all the new papers on preeclampsia. We'll get some traction eventually. They just found something really interesting for another complex disease pathway: http://www.sciguru.com/newsitem/14328/s ... m-epilepsy

Eventually, we'll get a hit like that (and lots of people are working on it.)

Re: Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

Post by alviarin » Sat Jun 30, 2012 05:18 pm

Yes thanks for adding that warning.... I wasn't recommending taking more folic acid than what would already be present in a pre-natal vitamin. Unless you are taking higher doses under your doctor's supervision or recommendation for an underlying medical condition.

Re: Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

Post by caryn » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:34 am

(Inserting usual "don't experiment on yourself" caveat here - talk to your docs about supplements. The official NICE guideline .pdf says not to take extra folic acid solely for the purposes of trying to prevent hypertension in pregnancy, and similar guidelines are being worked up in the US. All this preliminary stuff could pan out just like vitamin C and E did, and no one wants to get sicker, quicker.)

Epigenetics may contribute to high BP in pregnancy

Post by alviarin » Mon Jun 18, 2012 09:54 pm

"... the VCU team reported that thromboxane synthase – an important inflammatory enzyme – is increased in the blood vessels of expectant mothers with preeclampsia... This enzyme results in the synthesis of thromboxane, which increases blood pressure and causes blood clots."

“The present work is unique because it opens up a new concept as to the cause and subsequent consequences of preeclampsia relating to epigenetics,” said corresponding author Scott W. Walsh, Ph.D., professor in the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “It is the first study to show that epigenetic alterations in the blood vessels of the mother are related to preeclampsia.”

According to Walsh, one of the main epigenetic mechanisms is methylation of the DNA, which controls the expression of genes. The increase of this enzyme in the blood vessels is related to reduced DNA methylation and the infiltration of neutrophils into the blood vessels. Neutrophils are white blood cells that normally help fight infection.

In the future, Walsh said some potential treatments for preeclampsia may include inhibition of thromboxane synthase, blockade of thromboxane receptors or dietary supplementation with folate. He said that folate supplementation could increase methylation donors to protect against adverse changes in DNA methylation that affect expression of the thromboxane synthase enzyme."

Even though this study has a lot of "coulds" it is an interesting new avenue of research. And possibly another reason to take folic acid or folate during pregnancy. :)

Press release:
http://www.news.vcu.edu/news/Changes_in ... d_Pressure

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/ea ... eytype=ref