To verify the hypothesis that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) attenuates Nomega-Nitro-L-arginine Methyl Ester (L-NAME)-induced preeclampsia-like manifestations in rats.
Forty pregnant Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, preeclampsia model, VEGF treatment, and VEGF prophylactic. On day 5 of gestation, L-NAME was injected subcutaneously in rats of the preeclampsia model, VEGF treatment, and VEGF prophylactic groups. VEGF was given after the occurrence of hypertension and proteinuria in the VEGF treatment group and from day 5 in the VEGF prophylactic group. Blood pressure was monitored and urine protein was assayed. Blood platelet was counted, and serum nitric oxide metabolites, endothelin-1, 6-keto-PGF-1alpha, and TXB2 were determined.
Blood pressure increased significantly on day 8 of gestation in the preeclampsia model and VEGF treatment groups compared with control (p < 0.05 for both) and remained elevated through the pregnancy in the preeclampsia model group. Blood pressure was significantly decreased after the administration of VEGF in the VEGF treatment group (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in blood pressure between the VEGF prophylactic group and control (p > 0.05). Urine protein, platelet count, serum nitric oxide metabolites, endothelin-1, 6-keto-PGF-1alpha, and TXB2 were significantly different between control and the preeclampsia model group (p < 0.05), but not between control and the VEGF treatment or VEGF prophylactic groups (p > 0.05 for all).
VEGF attenuates L-NAME-induced preeclampsia-like manifestations in rats, suggesting the important role of VEGF in preeclampsia and providing a potential strategy for the prevention and treatment of preeclampsia.