Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that occurs during pregnancy and can be detrimental to the health of the developing fetus and the mother. Low-dose aspirin therapy has been used to treat preeclampsia, but this strategy is controversial – some researchers believe that it prevents preeclampsia while others find it increases related complications.
In a study appearing online on March 17, in advance of the April 1 print edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Colin Funk and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania describe a new mouse model that mimics the effects of low dose aspirin to explore how such therapy would impact blood clotting and reproductive functions.
The mice generated have reduced levels of prostaglandin H synthase 1 (PGHS1), a platelet protein that contributes to the heart-healthy effects of aspirin therapy. The authors find that these mice had the expected decreased platelet aggregation, inhibition of thrombosis, and impaired inflammatory responses typically seen with aspirin therapy. However, the uterine and ovarian environments were altered only slightly and allowed for normal induction of labor, normal litter size and similar development of offspring.
This new mouse model will have significant value in studying the role of low dose aspirin in several pathological conditions, such as preeclampsia, thrombosis and inflammation. The results suggest that low-dose aspirin treatment may prevent preeclampsia without compromising reproductive function.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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