Comparison of angiotensin-converting enzyme, malonaldehyde, zinc, and copper levels in preeclampsia
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Preeclampsia is a syndrome of unknown etiopathogenesis. Recent studies carried out on preeclampsia have focused on the increase in free radicals in the feto-placental unit with poor perfusion. It is believed that the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) has a role in the poor perfusion of the placenta. It is uncertain whether there is a pre-existing impairment in RAS in pre-eclamptic pregnant women or not. In the present study, we measured angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), malonaldehyde (MDA), zinc, and copper levels in the placental tissue of 16 pre-eclamptic pregnant women and compared them with those in 20 healthy pregnant women. Whereas ACE activity and MDA were found to be high in the placentas of pre-eclamptic patients, zinc and copper levels were low and there was a negative correlation between ACE activity and zinc concentration. These findings suggest that high ACE activity might play a role in the increase in tissue hypoxia and consequent lipid peroxidation through vasoconstriction; zinc deficiency in the placental tissue might cause insufficiency of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme. Furthermore, deficiency in placental zinc also plays a role in the biosynthesis of connective tissue, maintaining its integrity, which might have an impact on the structure of the spiral arteries.