Preeclampsia (PE) is a hypertensive complication of pregnancy. Its cause is still unknown and it could be a risk factor for future ophthalmic problems. Retinal vascular bed alterations have been described as a consequence of PE, suggesting a retinopathy. Factors related to angiogenesis and vascular permeability, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF) or components of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), prorrenin/renin receptor ((P)RR) and angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) have been located in the retina, participating in other retinopathies, but it is unknown if they could participate in PE. Our aim was to elucidate whether VEGF, PEDF, (P)RR and AT1R could be modified during PE and during hypertension induced in rats with a history of PE. We used female Wistar rats and subrrenal aortic coarctation to induce PE, and after delivery, we induced a second hit by Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) administration. We measured blood pressure, proteinuria and pups development. In both models, eye fundal exploration and immunoblot for VEGF, PEDF, (P)RR and AT1R were performed. We found that the development of hypertension occurred faster in previously PE rats than in normal animals. VEGF, PEDF, (P)RR and AT1R were increased in PE, but in L-NAME-induced hypertension only (P)RR and AT1R were altered. Eye fundal data indicated that PE induced a level I retinopathy, but L-NAME induced a faster and more severe retinopathy in previously PE animals compared to previously normal pregnancy rats. These results indicate that PE predisposes to development of a faster and more severe retinopathy after a second hit. They also suggest that VEGF and PEDF seem to participate only in PE retinopathy, but in both models, RAAS components seem to have a more critical participation.
- (Pro) renin/renin receptor
- AT1 receptor