Pravastatin Effects on Placental Prosurvival Molecular Pathways in a Mouse Model of Preeclampsia

Antonio Saad, Zaid M. Diken, Talar B. Kechichian, Shannon M. Clark, Gayle L. Olson, George Saade, Maged Costantine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Using an animal model of preeclampsia induced by overexpression of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), we previously showed that pravastatin prevents the development of a preeclampsia phenotype. Our objective is to determine whether pravastatin treatment may be explained by its effects on apoptotic/survival pathways in the placenta. Methods: Pregnant CD1 mice at day 8 of gestation (length of gestation 19 days) were randomly allocated to injection via tail vein with either adenovirus carrying sFlt-1 or adenovirus carrying the murine immunoglobulin G2α Fc fragment (mFc virus control group). Mice from the sFlt group were randomly assigned to receive pravastatin (5 mg/kg/d) in their drinking water from day 9 until killing (sFlt-1 + Pravastatin) or water (sFlt-1). The mFc control received water only. Mice were killed on day 18, and the placentas were collected. Protein mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway substrates were assayed using Bioplex Multiplex Immunoassay (Bio-Rad, Hercules, California). Data are reported as mean ± standard error of the mean or median (interquartile range) when appropriate. One-way analysis of variance followed by post hoc analysis was performed. Two-sided P value <.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The sFlt-1 + Pravastatin mice had significantly higher placental protein concentrations of prosurvival/ antiapoptotic factors (activating transcription factor 2, pp38, phosphorylated c-jun N-terminal kinase, and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase) and of heat-shock protein 27 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, 2 factors crucial for embryonic and placental development during oxidative stress, compared to sFlt-1 mice (P <.05) and similar to the mFc control group. No differences were noted in substrates of the proapoptotic pp53 pathway. Conclusion: Pravastatin ability to prevent preeclampsia phenotype may be mediated through pleiotropic mechanisms involving a prosurvival/ antiapoptotic MAPK pathway in the placenta. Our results further support continued research in the role for statins in the prevention of preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1593-1599
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • MAPK
  • placenta
  • pravastatin
  • preeclampsia
  • stress-induced survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pravastatin Effects on Placental Prosurvival Molecular Pathways in a Mouse Model of Preeclampsia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this