Apparent systemic 11ß-dehydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 activity is increased in preeclampsia but not in intrauterine growth restriction.

Vasku, M; Kleine-Eggebrecht, N; Rath, W; Mohaupt, M G; Escher, Geneviève; Pecks, U (2018). Apparent systemic 11ß-dehydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 activity is increased in preeclampsia but not in intrauterine growth restriction. Pregnancy hypertension, 11, pp. 7-11. Elsevier 10.1016/j.preghy.2017.11.012

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OBJECTIVE The enzyme 11ß-dehydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11ß-HSD2) converts active cortisol (F) to inactive cortisone (E). A reduced 11ß-HSD2 activity in the placenta has been demonstrated for prematurity, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. We hypothesized that disturbed placental function rather than a maternal response contributes to decreased 11ßHSD2 activity as reflected by a diminished conversion of F to E. Hence, the aim of the present study was to estimate the systemic activity of 11ß-HSD2 throughout gestation and in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (PE) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) by calculating maternal serum F/E ratios. METHODS A total of 188 maternal serum samples were analyzed for nine glucocorticoid metabolites by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and F/E ratios were calculated. Study Group A: In a longitudinal set 33 healthy pregnant women were analyzed at three different time points throughout gestation and one postpartum. Study Group B: Cross-sectionally additional 56 patients were enrolled. We compared patients with PE (N = 14) and IUGR (N = 14) with gestational age matched healthy controls (CTRL = 28). RESULTS Group A: The apparent 11β-HSD2 activity dropped in the second trimester being restored to first trimester levels (P value = 0.016). Group B: The 11β-HSD2 activity was high in PE (P value < 0.05) but not in the IUGR group as compared to CTRL. CONCLUSION The increased apparent serum 11β-HSD2 activity observed with advancing gestation in normal pregnancy may reflect an elevated general increase in enzyme activity due to a higher placental mass. The high systemic 11β-HSD2 activity in PE but not in IUGR however suggests an increased F deactivation in maternal tissue in PE rather than in the placenta since placental insufficiency in the absence of PE does not significantly alter F/E ratio.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Nephrology and Hypertension

UniBE Contributor:

Escher, Geneviève


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Geneviève Escher

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2019 18:13

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 21:42

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