by caryn (10159 Posts), Tue May 25, 2010 11:28 pm
...Inhibition of the PI3K-Akt pathway may be a useful therapeutic approach, if it were to decrease sFlt1 secretion without inhibiting VEGF or PlGF secretion. This pathway provides a potential target for a new treatment strategy in patients with pre-eclampsia...
So researchers took samples of placentas and used them in a model for placental hypoxia, because it looks like running short of blood and oxygen is the switch that makes the placenta start producing the proteins that make our symptoms appear.
They turned off various biochemical cascades one at a time, and then measured the levels of the proteins that matter in preeclampsia, VEGF and PlGF and sFlt. Inhibiting one particular chemical cascade lowered levels of sFlt without lowering levels of VEGF or PlGF. (Yay!) This means that if they could figure out how to do that safely in pregnant women, it might work as a therapy for preeclampsia.
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