Rodríguez-Sureda V, Crovetto F, Triunfo S, Sánchez O, Crispi F, Llurba E, Gratacós E, Figueras F, Domínguez C.
The pathogenic basis of abnormal placentation and dysfunction in preeclampsia (PE) is highly complex and incompletely understood. Secretory sphyngomyelinase activity (S-ASM) was analyzed in plasma samples from 158 pregnant women developing PE and 112 healthy pregnant controls. Serum PlGF, sFlt-1, s-Endoglin and sVCAM were measured. Results showed S-ASM activity to be higher in women who later developed PE than in those with uncomplicated pregnancies (40.6% and 28.8% higher in the late- and early-onset groups, respectively). Plasma S-ASM activity correlated significantly with circulating markers of endothelial damage in the late-PE group (endoglin and sVCAM-1), with plasma cholesterol and total lipid levels. However, these significant associations were not observed in the early-PE or control groups. This work provides the first evidence of significantly elevated circulating S-ASM activity in the first trimester of pregnancy in women who go on to develop PE; thus, it may be deduced that the circulating form of ASM is biologically active in PE and could contribute to promoting endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular programming. Plasma S-ASM measurement may have clinical relevance as a further potential biomarker contributing to the earliest identification of women at risk of developing preeclampsia.