Altered serum soluble furin and prorenin receptor levels in pregnancies with pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction

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Objective: The proprotein convertase furin is known to be involved in the processing of pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (proBNP) and prorenin receptor (PRR), suggesting that it has a potential function in blood pressure regulation. We investigated the role of furin in the etiology of pre-eclampsia and its related disorder, unexplained fetal growth restriction (FGR) without hypertension. Methods: We evaluated serum and placental furin levels in pre-eclampsia, FGR and uncomplicated pregnancy. Additionally, we investigated the correlation between the serum furin levels and products of furin enzymatic activity or clinical parameters. Results: We demonstrated that the maternal circulation in cases of pre-eclampsia and FGR had lower levels of soluble furin than uncomplicated pregnancies. Both NT-proBNP and soluble PRR were elevated in pre-eclampsia, whereas only soluble PRR was at higher levels in unexplained FGR. Linear regression analysis revealed a negative correlation between the serum furin level and that of NT-proBNP or soluble PRR. While we observed that the serum furin or soluble PRR level correlated with blood pressure, a stronger correlation was observed with birth and placental weights. Further to this, the FURIN mRNA levels were significantly reduced in placental pre-eclamptic placentas as well as in FGR cases. Conclusion: These data suggest the possibility that reduced levels of furin may be the result of a negative feedback from the activation of the renin-angiotensin pathway that leads to feto-placental dysfunction with or without maternal hypertension. This may represent an etiologic pathway of pre-eclampsia and unexplained FGR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102198
JournalJournal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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