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Keywords:

  • cytokines;
  • endothelin;
  • hypertension;
  • pre-eclampsia

Citation Sharma D, Singh A, Trivedi SS, Bhattacharjee J. Role of endothelin and inflammatory cytokines in pre-eclampsia – a pilot north Indian study. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 65: 428–432

Problem  Pre-eclampsia is new onset hypertension during pregnancy with proteinuria. The initiating event in pre-eclampsia is postulated to involve reduced placental perfusion, which leads to widespread dysfunction of the maternal vascular endothelium. Cytokines also appear to contribute to the development of the pathological condition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of cytokines in pre-eclampsia and to study the relationship between endothelin-1 and cytokines with the severity of the disease.

Method of study  This cross-sectional study included 300 women with pre-eclampsia and 200 healthy pregnant women. Their blood samples were analyzed for endothelin-1 and inflammatory cytokines.

Results  Increased endothelin-1 and cytokines [tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-2 (IL-2) and γ-interferon (IFN-γ)] levels were found in pre-eclampsia (P < 0.001). Significant positive correlation was seen between endothelin-1 and cytokine level (IL-2 and IFNγ) in the pre-eclamptic group (P = 0.001).

Conclusion  We conclude that pre-eclampsia is associated with increased levels of both endothelin-1 and circulating inflammatory cytokines, which points toward the role of endothelial and inflammatory components.