Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Reveal How Air Pollutant Helps Pregnant Women with Hypertension

21.09.2006
Nitric oxide (NO) is best known as an air pollutant produced by vehicle emissions and power plants but for pregnant women it is a crucial compound required to avoid hypertension and pre-eclampsia. Now researchers at the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School have uncovered some of the secrets of what can interfere with the protecting properties of NO for pregnant women.

Pre-eclampsia affects 7-10% of all pregnancies. It causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine in its initial stages but can lead to fits and ultimately death. Its precise cause remains unknown. In severe forms of pre-eclampsia, particularly in early-onset cases that appear before the 34th week of gestation, the foetus suffers from increasing nutritional and respiratory problems, asphyxia and, ultimately, might die. Women who have had pre-eclampsia also seem to be at significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease in later life. The disease is a major health burden worldwide.

Nitric oxide is a gas which is an important signalling molecule in humans. It is one of the few gaseous signalling molecules known and plays an important role in blood pressure control by opening up blood vessels. It is better known as an air pollutant produced by vehicle engines and power plants.

During pregnancy, nitric oxide levels maintain a healthy flow of blood to the baby. When NO levels in the placenta are reduced or the NO is blocked from doing its work the risk of pre-eclampsia can occur. Now researchers at the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School have uncovered some of the secrets of what can interfere with the protecting properties of NO for pregnant women.

The Warwick Medical School researchers have managed to identify a complex range of problems that affect the way the NO works in the placenta during pre-eclampsia. When the pregnancy is compromised the placenta can also release a hormone called "corticotropin releasing hormone" (CRH - also known as the "stress" hormone). This hormone can directly influence NO production. The Warwick researchers have discovered that in pre-eclampsia there is a fault which does not allow this to occur. This then causes a cascade of signalling abnormalities through a number of protein receptors called GPCRs that prevent activation of the enzyme responsible for NO production.

The researchers also discovered that even if that part of the process works the placenta may still have restricted ability to produce NO in sufficient quantity.

This research has shed an immense amount of light on what can stop this crucial compound from protecting women and their unborn children from pre-eclampsia. Now the Warwick Medical School Researchers are seeking support for research that will target these discoveries with medical interventions that could resolve the problems and allow NO to perform its crucial role. The researchers first hope to target the faulty protein receptors which should activate the enzyme that releases NO.

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>