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New therapeutic targets for human placental angiogenesis diseases

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Angiogenesis is a physiological mechanism leading to growth of new blood vessels from a pre‐formed one, where endothelium is participating through several process involving cell proliferation/migration, tube formation, endothelium repair, among others. On the other hand, neovasculogenesis is the process of ...

Angiogenesis is a physiological mechanism leading to growth of new blood vessels from a pre‐formed one, where endothelium is participating through several process involving cell proliferation/migration, tube formation, endothelium repair, among others. On the other hand, neovasculogenesis is the process of blood vessel formation occurring by a de novo production of endothelial cells, which is happening not only in the embryonic stage but also in adult life. A large number of publications have described impaired angiogenesis and vasculogenesis present in the feto-placental circulation after pregnancies diseases such as pre-eclamptic pregnancies, gestational diabetes, and intrauterine growth restriction, among others. Results suggest impaired secretion and activity of pro‐angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin 8 (IL‐8), adenosine and nitric oxide, associates with compromised secretion and activity of anti‐angiogenic factors such as soluble receptor of VEGF (sFlt‐1), thrombospondin 2, endostatin among others. More recent evidences include the participation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), which circulating number is reduced infeto-placental circulation in pregnancies such as pre‐eclampsia. Therapies for placental angiogenesis recovery during pathological pregnancies are far to be tested. However, from the cardiovascular field, it has been described the administration of EPC, alone or used as gene-transfer therapy; or it has been described the potential role of statins (HMGCoA inhibitors), or angiotensin‐converter enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for enhancing angiogenesis. Finally, feto‐placental tissue is an exceptional source of progenitor and steam cells, which could be used for treated other human diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, hypertension, or even cancer. In this last regard, there are two facts that will be touched in this research topics, 1) similarities between placental and tumor growth linked with hormone dependence. And 2) Hypothetical gene-transfer using primary cells isolated from pathological pregnancies such as pre-eclampsia, since they might be useful for treatment of cancer due to its potential for generating impaired angiogenesis.


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