Mechanisms of Enhanced Vascular Reactivity in Preeclampsia
Preeclamptic women have enhanced blood pressure response to angiotensin II and extensive systemic vascular infiltration of neutrophils. Neutrophils release reactive oxygen species that might activate the RhoA kinase pathway to enhance vascular reactivity. We hypothesized that enhanced vascular reactivity in preeclampsia is attributed to neutrophil-mediated reactive oxygen species activation of the RhoA kinase pathway. Omental arteries were obtained at cesarean section and studied using a myograph system. We found that arteries of preeclamptic women had extensive infiltration of neutrophils and enhanced reactivity to angiotensin II. Treatment of arteries of normal pregnant women with reactive oxygen species or activated neutrophils enhanced vessel reactivity to angiotensin II mimicking preeclamptic vessels. Pretreatment with superoxide dismutase/catalase to quench reactive oxygen species or RhoA kinase inhibitor blocked enhanced responses in preeclamptic and normal vessels. Reactive oxygen species also enhanced vessel reactivity to norepinephrine, which was blocked by RhoA kinase inhibition. Treatment of arteries with reactive oxygen species increased RhoA kinase activity 3-fold, whereas culture of human vascular smooth muscle cells with angiotensin II and activated neutrophils or reactive oxygen species resulted in phosphorylation of key proteins in the RhoA kinase pathway. We conclude that enhanced vascular reactivity of omental arteries in preeclampsia is attributed to reactive oxygen species activation of the RhoA kinase pathway and that enhanced vascular reactivity is likely attributed to the infiltration of neutrophils. We speculate that neutrophil infiltration into systemic vasculature of preeclamptic women is an important mechanism for hypertension.
- Received May 18, 2011.
- Revision received June 19, 2011.
- Accepted August 31, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.