Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Placental extracellular vesicles, a role in associating with future cardiovascular diseases in women with history of preeclampsia?

Supervisor

Assoc. Prof. Qi Chen 
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Project code: MHS001

There is rapidly growing evidence suggesting women with a history of preeclampsia are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular diseases later. However, the underlying mechanisms of this association have not been fully studied. Although the pathogenesis of preeclampsia is still unclear, it is now well recognized that factors from placenta play an important role for this pregnancy specific disorder. During pregnancy, a large amount of placental extracellular vesicles (EVs) are extruded from placenta into maternal circulation. These placental EVs control the adaptation of maternal immune and vascular systems to pregnancy, altering the function of recipient cells during pregnancy. In addition, studies have reported that cells from the placenta remain in the maternal body long after pregnancy ends. We have previously reported that placental EVs from preeclamptic placenta is toxin, which can induce maternal endothelial cell dysfunction. Although the clinical symptoms of preeclampsia are recovered after delivery, we wonder whether EVs from these long-lasting placental cells in women are one of the factors that cause maternal endothelial cell dysfunction later in women with history of preeclampsia, which may be associated with cardiovascular diseases. This project will help us to better understand the association of preeclampsia and cardiovascular diseases later.