Angiotensinogen T235 expression is elevated in decidual spiral arteries

Terry Morgan, Catherine Craven, Lesa Nelson, Jean Marc Lalouel, Kenneth Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Preeclampsia is associated with a common molecular variant of angiotensinogen (Met235Thr). This variant is in tight linkage disequilibrium with a mutation in the angiotensinogen promoter, G(-6)A, which leads to elevated expression in vitro. Since angiotensin II levels could play a role in atherotic changes of the uterine spiral arteries associated with preeclampsia, we investigated angiotensinogen expression in the first trimester uterus. We localized angiotensinogen transcription in uterine decidua using in situ reverse transcription PCR. We then compared decidual T235 expression levels to M235 levels in heterozygous women using an allele- specific ligation assay and a single nucleotide primer extension assay. In human decidua, angiotensinogen is expressed only in spiral artery smooth muscle cells. Heterozygous women have significantly elevated expression of the T235 allele compared to the M235 allele (P < 0.0001). These observations suggest that elevated expression of the T235 allele in decidual spiral arteries may cause first trimester atherotic changes leading to preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1406-1415
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Allele-specific expression
  • In situ RT-PCR
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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