Pharmacologic and methodologic advances over the last decade have resulted in a body of information implicating serotonin as a mediator in the genesis of pre-eclamptic hypertension. Platelets contain the largest storage of serotonin in peripheral blood and have the ability to take up this amine from surroundings, store and release it by several mechanisms. Plasma and platelet concentrations and platelet serotonin uptake have been measured in 8 nonpregnant women, 12 normal pregnant women and 8 women with severe preeclampsia. Plasma serotonin concentration was significantly higher in severely preeclamptic women, compared with age and gestation matched normal women. In addition, plasma serotonin concentration was directly related to systolic and diastolic blood pressure with severity of the syndrome. Furthermore, platelet serotonin concentration in women with pre-eclampsia was significantly higher than in non-pregnant controls, but it was not significantly different from the normal pregnant women. Moreover, serotonin is effectively taken up by platelets through a saturable transport process. The calculated apparent Km for serotonin uptake process did not differ significantly among non-pregnant women, normal pregnant women and women with pre-eclampsia. However, Vmax values were significantly higher in women with pre-eclampsia than in the normotensive pregnant women. As the actions of serotonin in the periphery could be terminated primarily by active uptake system by platelets and placenta, significant alterations in the rate of transport could result in physiologically significant changes in serotonin levels. These data raise the possibility that regulation of transporter function is involved in the etiology of pre-eclampsia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)