2007 Vision Grant abstracts

Last Updated on Thursday, August 19, 2010

Francesca Facco, MD, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that complicates 2-8% of pregnancies, and can lead to multi-organ system dysfunction and fetal compromise. Placental hypoperfusion has been implicated in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Individuals with sleep-disordered breathing experience episodes of intermittent hypoxia and sympathetic stimulation while sleeping. We hypothesis that a pregnant woman with significant symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing will have intermittent hypoxia and hypertension that can lead to episodes of placental hypoperfusion and preeclampsia. The overall goal of this proposal is to evaluate the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and preeclampsia.

Frauke von Versen-Hoeynck, MD, Magee Womens Research Institute and Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

The role of the hypoxia-inducible signal adenosine in placental amino acid transport
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Abnormal placental bed vascular pathology with reduced nutrient and oxygen delivery to the intervillus space is hypothesized to contribute to suboptimal fetal growth in IUGR and preeclamptic pregnancies. Recent studies indicate that a variety of signals such as adenosine are produced in response to hypoxia in tissues and are higher in women with preeclampsia. Amino acids are an important nutrient during fetal development and their placental uptake by Na+ dependent amino acid transport systems depends on Na+/K+ ATPase enzyme activity, which can be modified by adenosine. To date there is little information about the role of adenosine in preeclamptic pregnancies and the placenta. Therefore, the focus of this proposal is to investigate the effect of the hypoxia-inducible signal adenosine on placental amino acid transport.

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