• Bookmark and Share

Vision Grant Researcher Reports Successful Methodology to Study Placental Proteins

Last Updated on Sunday, September 30, 2012

Principal Investigator Nihar R. Nayak, DVM, PhD, Stanford University, recently reported successful progress in his efforts to better understand the role of certain placental proteins in the development of preeclampsia. His 2011 Vision Grant research project aimed to see how proteins act in the placenta during preeclampsia. In Nayak's multi-stage investigation, he first needed to develop a new method using a mouse model system to study the roles of specific proteins in placental function and disease, as well as testing novel therapeutic approaches to preeclampsia. In his model, protein expressions can be seen in all stages of pregnancy.

Nayak's team has also developed a way to study how genes act in the placentas of mice. Genes play an important part in the development of the placenta during pregnancy. Better ways to see how abnormal genes act will help us learn more about what causes the amount of certain proteins to be higher than normal. Additionally, the abnormality of the genes is thought to occur in the early stages of development of the placenta. Therefore, this new model allows them to see how the genes act in the early stages of development.

A protein called sFlt-1 is found in the blood of pregnant women at a higher level when they have preeclampsia. Understanding this protein and why it accumulates will have a direct impact on the design of clinical therapies for preeclampsia. With their new method, they have been able to see how sFlt-1 acts in mice by using a virus' genes to tell the placenta to stop making sFlt-1. This will help explain how the gene and proteins act together and what causes the abnormally high amount of sFlt-1 in preeclampsia.

The Stanford group is also trying to see how another protein, VEGF, acts during pregnancy. This protein is also higher in preeclampsia pregnancies than in normal pregnancies and they are currently using the same method to study it, believing that higher levels of VEGF in the placenta also has an important role in causing preeclampsia.

Nayak and his team will conclude this research toward the end of the year at which time they will seek to publish and report their results.

UPCOMING EVENTS

We’ll be Speaking Here


California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative
Preeclampsia Toolkit Review and Patient Support

September 25, 2015

 

Dignity Health Summit, Las Vegas, NV

October 1-2, 2015

 

Grand Rounds - Tampa General Hospital, Tampa FL

October 28, 2015

 

March of Dimes Prematurity Prevention Conference
Crystal City, VA

November 17, 2015

 

11th Annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities
Ft. Worth, TX

June 9-10, 2016

 

Invite Us to Speak at Your Event

 

Preeclampsia in the News

Featured Video

What’s Happening on Twitter

Preeclampsia Why do stories matter? Because they give us a way to connect with a community that understands us. Because... http://t.co/L1qylebXbh
12mreplyretweetfavorite
Preeclampsia RT @Eleni_Z_Tsigas: Loved getting a check to grow The @Preeclampsia Registry! Thank you, Cmty Fdtn for Brevard! http://t.co/vKHeoSHSRa http…
Preeclampsia @DrChileshe Fascinating! One of the reasons The Preeclampsia Registry wants siblings of affected patient too.

Press Releases by Year

Other Resources

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST. We respect your privacy.