Short telomeres may play a role in placental dysfunction in preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction

Tal Biron-Shental*, Rivka Sukenik-Halevy, Yudith Sharon, Lilach Goldberg-Bittman, Dvora Kidron, Moshe D. Fejgin, Aliza Amiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Telomeres shorten and aggregate with cellular senescence and oxidative stress. Telomerase and its catalytic component human telomerase reverse-transcriptase regulate telomere length. The pathogenesis of preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction involves hypoxic stress. We aimed to assess telomere length in trophoblasts from pregnancies with those complications. Study Design: Placental specimens from 4 groups of patients were studied: severe preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia combined with intrauterine growth restriction, and uncomplicated (control). Telomere length and human telomerase reverse-transcriptase expression were assessed by using quantitative fluorescence-in-situ protocol and immunohistochemistry. Results: Telomere length was significantly lower in preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and preeclampsia plus intrauterine growth restriction placentas. More aggregates were found in preeclampsia, but not in intrauterine growth restriction placentas. Human telomerase reverse-transcriptase was significantly higher in the controls compared with the other groups. Conclusion: Telomeres are shorter in placentas from preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction pregnancies. Increased telomere aggregate formation in preeclampsia but not in intrauterine growth restriction pregnancies, implies different placental stress-related mechanisms in preeclampsia with or without intrauterine growth restriction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381.e1-381.e7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume202
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • aggregates
  • human telomerase reverse-transcriptase
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • preeclampsia
  • telomeres

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