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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2001;44(4):787-792.
Published online April 1, 2001.
Placental apoptosis in preeclampsia.
Hye Jung Kim, Yoon Ha Kim, Kyu Yoon Ahn, Kwang Il Nam, Suk Mo Kim, Tae Bok Song, Ji Soo Byun
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chonnam national university medical school, Kwangju, Korea.
2Department of Anatomy, Chonnam national university medical school, Kwangju, Korea.
Our purpose was to investigate the incidence of placental apoptosis in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. METHODS: Placental samples were obtained from 15 uncomplicated third-trimester pregnancies and from 17 pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling) staining and electron microscopy were performed on all placental samples and identified apoptosis within the cells of the placenta. TUNEL positive stained cells were counted at each photograph(five sections were photoragphed at 1,500 magnifications for each sample). We focused on only the syncytiotrophoblast nuclei of the placenta. The number of apoptotic syncytiotrophoblast nuclei identified was expressed as a percentage of total number of syncytiotrophoblast nuclei counted. RESULTS: Quantification of apoptosis (mean+/-SD) was as follows: normal third trimester (n=15) 0.57+/- 0.47% of cells and preeclampsia third trimester (n=17) 1.41+/-0.67% of cells. The incidence of apoptosis was significantly increased in placentas from pregnancies with preeclampsia compared with normal placentas (p< 0.01). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that placental apoptosis may play a role in the pathophysiologic mechanisms of preeclampsia.
Key Words: preeclampsia, placental apoptosis, TUNEL stain

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