Alterations in antioxidant system, mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy in preeclamptic myometrium
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication which causes significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although intensive research has been performed in the last 40 years, the pathology of preeclampsia is still poorly understood. The present work is a comparative study of the myometrium of women with normal pregnancy, and those with late- and early-onset preeclampsia (n = 10 for each group). We observed significant changes in the levels of antioxidant enzymes, markers of mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagyproteins in preeclamptic myometrium. Levels of superoxide dismutase 1 and catalase were lower in both preeclamptic groups than the control group. In late-onset preeclampsia, expression levels of essential mitochondria-related proteins VDAC1, TFAM, hexokinase 1, PGC-1α and PGC-1β, and autophagy marker LC3A, were significantly elevated. In the myometrium of the early-onset preeclampsia group OPA1 and Bcl-2 were up-regulated compared to those of the control (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that crucial molecular changes in the maternal myometrium occur with the development of preeclampsia.