Angiogenic response of placental villi to heparin

  • Sobel M
  • Kingdom J
  • Drewlo S
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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the angiogenic effect of heparin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured in conditioned media from normal and severely pre-eclamptic human placental villi. METHODS: Normal first- and second-trimester floating placental villi were explanted in control conditions and increasing concentrations of heparin (unfractionated and low molecular weight heparin) across the clinical prophylactic and therapeutic range (0.025-25 units/mL). At 96 hours, the placenta-conditioned media was tested for angiogenic activity in a human umbilical vein endothelial cell in vitro angiogenesis assay. Total capillary-like tube length and number of branch points were determined from photographs that did not contain information about experimental conditions. The response of placenta-conditioned media from preterm severely preeclamptic pregnant women exposed to low molecular weight heparin also was assessed and compared with both preterm and term control groups. RESULTS: Unfractionated heparin significantly promoted angiogenesis (0.25 units/mL compared with control: relative branch points 185±32% [mean±standard error of the mean], P

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