Alteration of circulating Placental Leucine Aminopeptidase (P-LAP) activity in preeclampsia.

OBJECTIVE: Placental Leucine Aminopeptiadse (P-LAP) also known as oxytocinase, is secreted by syncytiotrophoblast and increases gradually during pregnancy until delivery. It is a regulator of uterine contractions, of vascular resistance and of volume of the retroplacental blood pool. Recently, it was shown that it could also regulate metalloproteinase 9 activity and thus, invasiveness of trophoblastic cells. Since development of preeclampsia could be initiated by decreased cytotrophoblastic invasion of spiral arterioles and a reduced uteroplacental perfusion, we speculate that circulating P-LAP activity could be decreased during preeclampsia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Case-control study was evaluated in 84 women. P-LAP activity was measured in n=51 healthy pregnant women at term, and compared with n=16 normotensive women delivering preterm and n=17 women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. P-LAP activity was determined by colorimetry in plasma samples using L-Leucine-p-nitroanilide as substrate.

RESULTS: P-LAP activity was significantly lower in sera of preeclamptic women (0.91+/-0.122 mDO/min) as compared to normotensive controls (1.41+/-0.103 mDO/min; p=0.003) irrespective of time of delivery.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings confirm the probable involvement of P-LAP in trophoblast invasion and development of preeclampsia.

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