Preeclamptic plasma stimulates the expression of miRNAs, leading to a decrease in endothelin-1 production in endothelial cells
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Preeclampsia is a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a multisystem pregnancy syndrome characterized by general endothelial dysfunction caused mainly by plasma factors and debris in endothelial cells. It is widely accepted that endothelin-1 (ET-1) is involved in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia, and so it is of interest to ascertain whether the ET-1 gene (EDN1) can be targeted with tools such as miRNAs. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between the expression of miRNAs that putatively target EDN1 (and so affect ET-1 levels) in HUVECs incubated with plasma from preeclamptic women. EDN1 expression and ET-1 levels in HUVECs incubated with plasma from women with preeclampsia were similar to those in plasma from healthy pregnant women. Expression of miRNAs let-7a, -7b, and -7c, and to a lesser degree 125a and 125b, was increased in preeclampsia. Expression of miRNAs of the let-7 family was significantly negatively correlated with ET-1 levels in preeclampsia. Transfection of the preeclampsia cultures with mimic miRNA let-7 decreased ET-1 levels. Our findings show that preeclamptic plasma stimulates the expression of miRNAs in HUVECs, leading to a decrease in ET-1levels, which suggests that therapeutic miRNAs may aid in the management of preeclampsia.
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