gms | German Medical Science

27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga

Deutsche Liga zur Bekämpfung des hohen Blutdrucks – Deutsche Hypertonie Gesellschaft e. V.

26. bis 29.11.2003, Bonn

Plazentare Lokalisation und Expression des pro-apoptotischen "cell death"-Faktors BNIP3 bei hypertensiven Schwangerschaftserkrankungen

Localization and expression of the pro-apoptotic "cell death" factor BNIP3 in placentas from hypertensive pregnancies

Meeting Abstract (Hypertonie 2003)

  • presenting/speaker S. Purz - Leipzig, D
  • C. Leo - Leipzig, D
  • L. Horn - Leipzig, D
  • M. Höckel - Leipzig, D
  • H. Stepan - Leipzig, D

Hypertonie 2003. 27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga. Bonn, 26.-29.11.2003. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc03hochV27

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: November 11, 2004

© 2004 Purz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




BNIP3 is a pro-apoptotic factor of the Bcl-2-family and is hypoxia-mediated expressed in malignant tumours. Recently it has been shown that placental hypoxia as well as apoptosis are pathogenetic factors for pregnancy-induced hypertensive diseases and IUGR. The aim of the study was to analyse placental expression of BNIP3 in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia or HELLP-syndrome.

Material and methods

Placental tissues was sampled from ten pregnancies with preeclampsia, HELLP-syndrome and gestational age-matched controls. The placental expression of BNIP3 has been investigated with immunohistochemistry by the use of a specific human BNIP3 antibody.


BNIP3 was immunohistochemically detectable in the syncytiotrophoblast, villus stroma and vascular endothelium of each placental sample. The expression is significantly decreased in pregnancies complicated by either preeclampsia (factor 0,62; p<0,05) or HELLP-syndrome (factor 0,54; p<0,05) compared to gestational age-matched control pregnancies.


Pregnancies with placental dysfunction and hypertensive pregnancy disorders with different clinical manifestations are characterized by a significant decreased expression of BNIP3. These results suggest that the in generally accepted hypothesis of increasing placental apoptosis in pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders caused by disturbed trophoblast invasion has to be partly revised.