Pre-eclampsia has been one of the most notorious pre-delivery complications in pregnant women, affecting 5-7% of pregnancies worldwide. This condition poses severe threats to pregnant women and is the major driver for simulated premature childbirths. To tackle this deep-rooted issue, UT Southwestern scientists have identified an enzyme known as Protein Phosphatase 2 or PP2A, that is suggested to be the cause for this fatal condition, said a report by The Science Times.
The problem of pre-eclampsia causes several detrimental effects on a pregnant woman. The patient is most likely to experience higher levels of blood pressure and protein in their urine. As per Mayo Clinic's description, pre-eclampsia may even lead to organ system damage, including the kidneys and the liver. Severe headaches, changes in vision, abdominal pain and nausea are some other possible symptoms. A woman met with this condition only has two options: to undergo simulated premature delivery or wait for the gestation period to complete, which is dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
As per The Science Times, the study published in the journal Circulation Research, titled "Protein Phosphatase 2A Activation via ApoER2 in Trophoblasts Drives Pre-eclampsia in a Mouse Model of the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)" has decoded the contribution of PP2A in pregnancy complications. The data revealed by the study pointed out risk factors responsible for the adverse condition. The risk factor is namely the Antiphospholipid Syndrome. It was explained that APS causes the secretion of antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies which, in turn, triggers the PP2A enzyme, thus hindering the placenta's mechanism. A placenta is an internal organism responsible for nutrient exchange between the mother and the fetus. The study, which used pregnant mice as subjects, observed similar symptoms like high blood pressure and high levels of protein in their urine, pointing towards pre-eclampsia. It was noted that injecting the mice with PP2A enzyme-inhibiting drug stopped the secretion of aPL antibodies. Besides, the scientists pointed out that the injected mice needed no treatment and developed zero side effects as they were safeguarded from pregnancy complications. Mice are considered excellent subjects for research as they have DNAs exceptionally closely related to that of humans.