Abstract A platelet (PLT) function modification has been reported in normal pregnancies compared with the nonpregnant condition and it has been hypothesized to play a central role in the pathogenesis of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). The aims of the present study were (i) to evaluate the lipid composition, fluidity at different depths, transport functions, and ultrastructural features of the PLT membrane in PIH and (ii) to ascertain whether similar modifications may be determined by the state of pregnancy in comparison with the nonpregnant condition. The platelets of healthy pregnant women (HPW) showed: (i) an increase in Ca2+ ATPase activity, (ii) a decreased fluidity of the deeper site of the membrane, (iii) a reduced cholesterol concentration, with an increased ratio between unsaturated and saturated fatty acids; (iv) a decreased intramembranous particles (IMP) distribution factor (DF) of the plasma membrane E face in comparison with healthy nonpregnant women. When comparing women affected by PIH with HPW, we observed (i) reduced Na+/K+ ATPase activity and enhanced Ca2+ ATPase activity and intraplatelet calcium concentrations, (ii) an increased membrane fluidity, (iii) an increased cholesterol concentration and ratio between unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, (iv) a reduction of the IMP number and the DF. Pregnancy produces a deep modification of the platelet plasma membrane, and PIH produces a more pronounced alteration of the maternal platelets, which can be responsible for the observed modifications in placental blood flow and in the fetomaternal exchange.
Biochemical-morphological modifications of platelet membranes during pregnancy-induced hypertension / Rabini, Ra; Salvolini, Eleonora; Staffolani, R; Pugnaloni, Armanda; Simonelli, L; Biagini, G; Cester, N; Garzetti, Gg; Mazzanti, Laura. - In: EXPERIMENTAL AND MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY. - ISSN 0014-4800. - 63:3(1995), pp. 175-185. [10.1006/exmp.1995.1041]