Human spiral artery renin-angiotensin system

Terry Morgan, Catherine Craven, Kenneth Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Pregnancy induces uterine spiral arteries to remodel into dilated uteroplacental vessels by an unknown mechanism called 'physiological change.' In women who develop preeclampsia, however, many spiral arteries remain unchanged or develop medial hyperplasia and atherosis. We recently demonstrated that angiotensinogen is expressed by remodeling spiral arteries in first-trimester decidua. We hypothesize that a local spiral arterY renin- angiotensin system mediates pregnancy-induced remodeling of these vessels. In this study we tested for expression of renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme, and angiotensin II type 1 receptor genes in the first-trimester uterus using reverse-transcription polymeruse chain reaction. Expression was localized by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme, and the angiotensin II type 1 receptor are all expressed in and around remodeling spiral arteries. These observations suggest that a local spiral artery renin-angiotensin system may play a role in pregnancy-induced remodeling of these vessels. Elevated angiotensinogen expression in women homozygous for the A(-6) variant in the angiotensinogen promoter may promote abnormal remodeling, whereas relatively lower levels in women homozygous for G(-6) may permit enough normal remodeling to protect these women from preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-687
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Arteries
  • Human
  • Preeclampsia
  • Renin-angiotensin system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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