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The human placenta from heavy smokers: evaluation of vasoactive peptides by immunohistochemistry

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Clausen HV, Grupe Larsen L, Jørgensen A, Bzorek M. The human placenta from heavy smokers: evaluation of vasoactive peptides by immunohistochemistry. APMIS 2007;115:22–9.

The study aimed to demonstrate the expression of nitric oxide converting enzyme, nitric oxide synthase (e-NOS), and endothelin-1 (Et-1) in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental tissue, and to demonstrate a difference in staining intensity between heavy smokers and non-smokers. Term placentas from pregnancies from otherwise healthy women smoking 15 or more cigarettes per day (heavy smokers) and term placentas from a matching group of non-smokers were included. The antibodies for Et-1 and e-NOS are recommended for cryostat sections. We evaluated the antibodies on paraffin-embedded tissue combined with the streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase technique. Et-1 and e-NOS were demonstrated in the placental vasculature, the trophoblast, and the amnion. A blinded comparative study showed no reproducible significant differences in the staining intensity of the antigen-antibody reaction to Et-1 and e-NOS between the two groups.

Keywords: Smokers; endothelin-1; human placenta; nitric oxide

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pathology, Næstved Central Hospital, Næstved, and

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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