Normal pregnancy is characterized by a mild systemic inflammatory response and progressive increase in serum inflammatory cytokines that peak in the third trimester. During pregnancy pre-existing inflammatory conditions, acquired oxidative stress arising from the placenta malfunction and nutritional deficiencies can trigger intense systemic responses that lead to endothelial activation, dysfunction and preeclampsia. We investigated the principal nutritional, oxidative and inflammatory pathways that trigger the clinical manifestation of preeclampsia.
This case-control study included 250 women with preeclampsia and 150 normotensive pregnant women. Urinary Iodine concentration (IUC) and serum levels of Ferritin, Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), selenium, Nitric Oxide (NO) gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), Rheumatoid factor, and high sense C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) of cases and controls were compared using the student’s t and the Mann-Whitney U tests. Principal component analysis was carried out to delineate the patterns of association between nutritional, inflammatory and oxidative markers and preeclampsia.
The main pathophysiological pathways identified were the interactions between selenium/iodine deficiency and elevated serum TSH (endothelial dysfunction); serum ferritin, GGT, CRP and low urinary iodine concentration (inflammatory oxidative stress); elevated serum hs-CRP and Rheumatoid factor subclinical inflammation and immune cell activation) and high T3/T4 ratio (acute TSH stimulation of thyroid with low thyroid iodine stores)
Combined selenium and iodine deficiency resulting into elevated TSH, low NO and preferential T3 secretion; acute inflammatory conditions associated with elevated serum GGT, CRP, and Ferritin; and subclinical inflammatory conditions characterized by autoimmunity are some of the major oxidant and inflammatory pathways associated with increased risk of preeclampsia.
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