Pre-eclampsia – effect of certain growth factors on the mother’s blood vessels

Pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia - role of vascular growth factors

David Bates (lead researcher)

Nottingham,University of

Start date: 01 April 2014 (Duration 3 years)

Pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, is one of the main causes of illness or death in pregnant women. Complications such as high blood pressure, swelling and the presence of protein in urine can commonly lead to life-threatening conditions such as liver failure or blood clots. The only treatment option to preserve the life of the mother is early delivery of the baby, who may therefore not survive. Further research in the area of pre-eclampsia is needed to understand its causes and therefore ultimately its treatment.

Professor David Bates and co-workers from the University of Nottingham have been awarded a 3-year grant totalling £213,000 to do research on the causes of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is thought to be partly due to widespread dysfunction of the mother’s endothelial cells – the tiny cells that line blood vessels and are very important to normal blood vessel function. The group will focus on the effects of two proteins on the mother’s circulatory system: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and placental growth factor (PlGF). In particular, the activity of PlGF will be followed because its levels increase in a normal pregnancy, but in pre-eclampsia it disappears. The group may be able to establish that PlGF is necessary for good health in pregnancy and could offer a new treatment to vulnerable mothers showing signs of high blood pressure or risk of pre-eclampsia.

Project details

Grant amount £213,440
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 April 2014
Duration 3 years
Reference PG/13/85/30536
Status Complete

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