Soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 alters cellular metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics in preeclampsia


Preeclampsia is a maternal hypertensive disorder that affects up to 1 out of 12 pregnancies worldwide. It is characterized by proteinuria, endothelial dysfunction, and elevated levels of the soluble form of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1, known as sFlt-1). sFlt-1 effects are mediated in part by decreasing VEGF signaling. The direct effects of sFlt-1 on cellular metabolism and bioenergetics in preeclampsia, have not been established. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether sFlt-1 causes mitochondrial dysfunction leading to disruption of normal functioning in endothelial and placental cells in preeclampsia. Endothelial cells (ECs) and first-trimester trophoblast (HTR-8/SVneo) were treated with serum from preeclamptic women rich in sFlt-1 or with the recombinant protein. sFlt-1, dose-dependently inhibited ECs respiration and acidification rates indicating a metabolic phenotype switch enhancing glycolytic flux. HTR-8/SVneo displayed a strong basal glycolytic metabolism, remaining less sensitive to sFlt-1-induced mitochondrial impairment. Moreover, results obtained in ECs exposed to serum from preeclamptic subjects demonstrated that increased sFlt-1 leads to metabolic perturbations accountable for mitochondrial dysfunction observed in preeclampsia. sFlt-1 exacerbated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation in ECs and trophoblasts exposed to serum from preeclamptic women. Forcing oxidative metabolism by culturing cells in galactose media, further sensitized cells to sFlt-1. This approach let us establish that sFlt-1 targets mitochondrial function in ECs. Effects of sFlt-1 on HTR-8/SVneo cells metabolism were amplified in galactose, demonstrating that sFlt-1 only target cells that rely mainly on oxidative metabolism. Together, our results establish the early metabolic perturbations induced by sFlt-1 and the resulting endothelial and mitochondrial dysfunction in preeclampsia.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Medical School
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences > Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine
Funding Information: We will like to thank the stafffrom FCV and CMISL for their support during patient recruitment. We are also grateful to Drs. Balaraman Kalyanaraman and Jacek Zielonka from the Free Radical Research Center from the Department of Biophysics of the Medical C
Additional Information: © 2018 Sánchez-Aranguren, Espinosa-González, González-Ortiz, Sanabria-Barrera, Riaño-Medina, Nuñez, Ahmed, Vasquez-Vivar and López. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Endothelial dysfunction,Metabolism,Mitochondrial dysfunction,Oxidative stress and metabolic perturbations,Preeclampsia,SFlt-1,Physiology,Physiology (medical)
Publication ISSN: 1664-042X
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 14:25
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-03-06
Accepted Date: 2018-01-23
Authors: Sanchez Aranguren, Lissette (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-4663-5752)
Espinosa-González, Cindy T.
González-Ortiz, Laura M.
Sanabria-Barrera, Sandra M.
Riaño-Medina, Carlos E.
Nuñez, Andrés F.
Ahmed, Asif (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8755-8546)
Vasquez-Vivar, Jeannette
López, Marcos



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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