Soluble fmslike tyrosine kinase 1 sFlt1

Soluble Flt-1 is a circulating anti-angiogenic protein that acts by adhering to the receptor-binding domains of placental growth factor (PIGF) and VEGF, thus preventing interaction with endothelial cell surface receptors and resulting in endothelial dysfunction. During healthy pregnancy, sFlt-1 levels are low until the end of the second trimester, and PIGF levels are high, thus creating a pro-angiogenic state. As pregnancy advances, s-Flt1 levels gradually increase and the balance shifts to attenuate placental growth.

Pre-eclampsia

Whereas healthy maternal endothelium is crucial for the physiological adaptation to normal pregnancy, widespread endothelial dysfunction is an integral part of the multi-organ involvement of preeclampsia (Roberts and Redman, 1993). Women with pre-existing medical disorders that are characterized by endothelial dysfunction, such as hypertension and diabetes, are at increased risk of pre-eclampsia. Indeed, many of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (all except smoking) are also risk factors for pre-eclampsia. Poor placental implantation also plays an important but not yet fully defined role toward maternal endothelial dysfunction.

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