Eclampsia: a new hope for treatment

Eclampsia a new hope for treatment

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    A new therapy for preeclampsia – a disease that affects the placenta during pregnancy – may soon be available. The results of this work, carried out by researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, CNRS and Institut Cochin, have been published in the journal Redox Biology.

    Pre-eclampsia (or toxaemia of pregnancy) is a serious pathology characterized by the appearance of hypertension and the abnormal presence of protein in the urine. It affects 5 to 8% of pregnant women and can, in the event of complications, lead to the death of the mother and/or the baby. To prevent these tragedies, researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, CNRS and Institut Cochin have worked on a new and unprecedented treatment, BH4.

    Towards the development of a therapy for preeclampsia

    The only treatment currently recommended for preeclampsia is the preventive intake of aspirin. But it has side effects at high doses. That’s why we tried to find another therapeutic solution says Dr. Chatre, CNRS researcher in the Imaging and Therapeutic Strategies for Cancers and Brain Tissue laboratory.

    The research group thus observed the effects of oxidative stress (which is aggravated in the event of preeclampsia) in female rodents affected by the disease. Disturbance of oxygen, nitrogen, and nitric oxide levels (which help the pregnancy go on properly but become scarce in preeclampsia) were also analyzed. .

    Scientists then realized that the restoration of nitric oxide production in the placenta through nitric oxide synthases (NOS) could be a new therapy to effectively treat preeclampsia “.

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    BH4 would have positive effects in the short and long term

    In this study, BH4 – an enzyme stabilizer (NOS) producing nitric oxide – thus proved to be very useful: it made it possible to correct cellular defects in rodents, but also to restore placental weight. and fetal weight.

    In addition, BH4 would have the advantage of correcting blood pressure, excess protein in the urine and cardiovascular abnormalities (increased heart volume) in rodents with preeclampsia.

    Thanks to this treatment, the risk of stroke in rodents is reduced and the heart stops growing, it returns to normal. It is hoped to obtain the same positive effects in human trials. », Notes Dr. Chatre, before adding « that this treatment could also reduce the long-term effects of the disease, i.e. cardiovascular, renal, hepatic risks, etc. “.

    For the moment, no adverse effects of BH4 have been notified.

    Ultimately, this new therapeutic route could treat all women with preeclampsia.

    It’s the ultimate goal concludes the doctor enthusiastically.