Nitrotyrosine immunostaining correlates with increased extracellular matrix: Evidence of postplacental hypoxia

J. Stanek, A. L.W. Eis, L. Myatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Nitrotyrosine residues (NT), an index of oxidative stress arising from peroxynitrite formation and action, are found in placental vasculature of pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (PE) or pregestational insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This study correlates conventional placental pathology with NT immunostaining in 20 cases of perinatal mortality (13 stillbirths and seven cases of neonatal mortality) associated with PE, IDDM, amniotic fluid infection syndrome (AFIS), or from fetal/neonatal demise not related to these conditions (congenital anomalies) (n=five/group). Patients with PE have more decidual arteriolopathy and Tenney-Parker change, while patients with IDDM and ascending infection have more villous cytotrophoblastic hyperplasia. Archival paraffin-embedded placental sections were immunostained for NT for correlation with clinical features and H&E histological findings. The intensity of immunostaining for NT varied from absent (n=7) to 1+ (n=5) or 2+ (n=8). All eight placentae with 2+ staining showed increased villous extracellular matrix (ECM), compared to none of five with 1+ staining and two of seven with no staining (χ2=14.3, P=0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the percentage of stem villi with luminal vascular abnormalities (5.7 vs 10 vs 35.7 per cent, F=2.3, P=0.1). Our data show that increased production of reactive oxygen species by placental tissue may be associated with increased extracellular matrix, itself produced by fibroblasts under the influence of oxygen. NT immunostaining may therefore help differentiate those cases of perinatal morbidity/mortality associated with post-placental hypoxia provided that the secondary impact of intrauterine fetal death can be excluded by future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S56-S62
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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