Objectives: To compare the circulating levels of cathepsin D in preeclamptic and normotensive pregnancies. Design and methods: Fifty pregnant and 20 healthy non-pregnant patients were enrolled in this study. Of the 50 pregnant patients, 15 were preeclamptic and 35 patients were normotensive. Serum levels of soluble cathepsin D were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Results: Cathepsin D levels were significantly lower in preeclamptic patients than normotensive pregnant patients (p= 0.033). The serum levels of cathepsin D in preeclamptic and non-pregnant healthy patients showed similar results. The serum levels of cathepsin D were not positively correlated with preeclampsia severity or the incidence of delivery of small for gestational age infants. Conclusions: We conclude that a reduced cathepsin D level is an important factor that may contribute to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, possibly by inhibiting normal trophoblastic invasion. These results contribute to the understanding of this serious obstetric problem.
- Cathepsin D