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Women with preeclampsia have fewer EPCs: Magee-Womens Research Institute

September 05, 2019

The researchers also collected third trimester blood samples from other groups of 11 women with preeclampsia and 12 healthy pregnant women. From those samples, they cultured cells known as circulating angiogenic cells (CACs), which are a type of progenitor cell thought to secrete growth factors to support cells that regenerate the vascular endothelium, or blood vessel lining. Cultures from preeclampsia samples grew fewer CACs.

"Still, it's not clear to us whether these differences are the cause of preeclampsia or are a consequence of it," Dr. Hubel noted. "We need to monitor women throughout pregnancy to see if we can figure out what came first, as well as get a better understanding of how all these cells work."

He added that studying women with preeclampsia after pregnancy also would be valuable because of the relationship between low numbers of EPCs and the development of cardiovascular disease.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences