1. This study was designed to seek evidence for excessive lipid peroxidation in pre-eclamptic women using 8-iso-prostane as a novel bioactive marker of lipid peroxidation in vivo. Plasma free, total and urinary 8-iso-prostane were measured in 20 women with proteinuric pre-eclampsia, and compared with 18 age- and gestation-matched pregnant control subjects, before delivery and at 6 weeks postpartum.
2. Plasma free 8-iso-prostane was significantly elevated in the pre-eclamptic women compared with control subjects before delivery, and fell to control levels post-partum. Conversely, levels in women with normal pregnancy rose post-partum
3. Total plasma 8-iso-prostane levels were not significantly elevated in pre-eclamptic women compared with control subjects during pregnancy, but fell significantly in the pre-eclamptic women postpartum, suggesting that they had relatively higher levels compared with their non-pregnant state.
4. Urinary 8-iso-prostane excretion was significantly lower in the pre-eclamptic women compared with control subjects during pregnancy, suggesting that renal clearance of 8-iso-prostane is impaired in pre-eclampsia.
5. Increased levels of plasma free 8-iso-prostane in pre-eclampsia could be due to an increase in lipid peroxidation, an increase in phospholipase A2 activity or a reduction in renal clearance of 8-iso-prostane, or a combination of all three. The potent direct and indirect vasoconstrictor actions of 8-iso-prostane may contribute to the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia.