Overproduction of the follistatin-related gene protein in the placenta and maternal serum of women with pre-eclampsia

K. Pryor-Koishi, H. Nishizawa, T. Kato, H. Kogo, T. Murakami, K. Tsuchida, H. Kurahashi, Y. Udagawa

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To characterise the follistatin-related gene (FLRG) in pre-eclampsia, one of the differentially expressed genes in pre-eclamptic placenta. Design and methods: We examined and compared the messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels of FLRG in placentas and maternal sera from women with uncomplicated pregnancy, and those with pre-eclampsia using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Setting: Antenatal clinics in a teaching hospital. Population: Women with uncomplicated pregnancy (n = 21) and those with pre-eclampsia (n = 21). Results: FLRG mRNA is overexpressed in pre-eclamptic placental tissues (P < 0.01). Upregulated FLRG protein consists of both an immature 28-kDa cellular product and a mature 33-kDa secretory form, which are differentially glycosylated. FLRG is normally produced at its highest levels in endothelial cells and at moderate amounts in syncytiotrophoblast cells, but in pre-eclampsia, the syncytiotrophoblast FLRG levels are dramatically increased. We also determined the maternal serum concentrations of FLRG in our uncomplicated pregnancy subjects and in our pre-eclamptic groups, and found that they are significantly elevated in pre-eclampsia in a similar manner to activin A and inhibin A. However, the increase in FLRG in these cases is independent of activin A or inhibin A, and is associated with low-birthweight outcomes. Conclusion: Our current data show the placental and secretory changes of FLRG protein in pre-eclampsia, and also indicate the potential usefulness of FLRG as an additional diagnostic marker for pre-eclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1137
Number of pages10
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 09-2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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