Pre-eclamptic and control placentas did not show any significant differences in their NO metabolite levels or their NOS expression levels as measured by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we did not find any association between pre-eclampsia and the occurrence of the Glu298Asp amino acid substitution in the NOS gene. In contrast, high maternal circulating NO metabolites were evident in severe pre-eclampsia (p < 0.0001). Although a positive correlation between circulating NO metabolites and blood pressure was not observed, uterine artery resistance measured by ultrasound was found to positively correlate with the maternal NO levels.
What this means is that one thing we thought might be causal -- there is a whole metabolic pathway switched on HIGH in preeclamptics -- probably isn't. Instead, it's probably a symptom of the disease, and is correlated to preeclampsia rather than causing it.
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