Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 461, Issue 1–2, pp 159–170 | Cite as

Maternal omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E improve placental angiogenesis in late-onset but not early-onset preeclampsia

  • Vaishali Kasture
  • Deepali Sundrani
  • Surabhi Dalvi
  • Mayur Swamy
  • Anvita Kale
  • Sadhana JoshiEmail author


Abnormal placental vasculature is associated with preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is of two types, i.e., early- and late-onset preeclampsia (LOP), both having different etiologies. We have earlier demonstrated low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E in women with preeclampsia. The current study examines the effect of maternal omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E supplementation on angiogenic factors in a rat model of preeclampsia. Pregnant rats were divided into a total of five groups control, early-onset preeclampsia (EOP); LOP; EOP supplemented with omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E and LOP supplemented with omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin E. Preeclampsia was induced by administering l-nitroarginine methylester (l-NAME) at the dose of 50 mg/kg body weight/day. The vascular endothelial growth factor gene expression and protein levels were lower (p < 0.01 for both) in animals from both EOP as well as LOP groups (p < 0.01). In the EOP group, the protein levels of VEGF receptor-1 were also lower (p < 0.01). Supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E to LOP improved the levels of VEGF and VEGF receptor-1 only in the LOP but not in the EOP group. In the EOP group, the gene expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) in the placenta was higher (p < 0.05) and supplementation normalized these levels. Our findings indicate that maternal supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E has differential effect on preeclampsia subtypes.


Hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha Omega-3 fatty acids Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-g) Preeclampsia Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor Vascular endothelial growth factor 



Financial support from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India (Grant no. 5/7/1069/13-RCH) is gratefully acknowledged. One of the authors (VK) received a fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (INSPIRE fellowship).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mother and Child Health, Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA)Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), PunePuneIndia

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