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BIOBOARD - SINGAPORE
A*STAR’s IMB discovers ELABELA protects against cardiovascular malformations in mice
ELABELA plays important roles during pregnancy to ensure the health and viability of mother and child.

Scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) have discovered that the ELABELA hormonal peptide has a new role in the development of pre-eclampsia and heart malformations in mice, a mammalian model with genetic and biological characteristics that closely resemble those of humans. Pre-eclampsia (PE) is the most common pregnancy-related disease. It is a gestational hypertensive syndrome affecting up to 8% of all pregnancies worldwide.

Discovered in 2013 by the Reversade lab, ELABELA is reported in the study as a circulating hormone produced during pregnancy in both mice and humans. It was found that the hormone is secreted by the placenta, and regulates maternal cardiovascular homeostasis through the regulation of placental blood vessel development. These findings might extend to human pregnancies, with potential implications in the therapy and management of common pregnancy complications such as a low birth weight.

Many mechanisms work in concert to orchestrate complex maternal-placental-foetal interactions. Dysregulation of these mechanisms often leads to common pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, characterised by proteinuria (protein in urine) and hypertension. Hypertension is intricately involved in mediating this maternal-placental-foetal balance, and when its function is absent or impaired, mice are predisposed to pre-eclampsia. Mice foetuses lacking ELABELA are also predisposed to cardiovascular malformations.

Prof. Bruno Reversade, research director said, “This work provides a new genetic model of gestational hypertension but also a possible therapeutic intervention point since administration of ELABELA during pregnancy can rescue both the mother and her offspring from the effects of pre-eclampsia.”

The discovery, published online in Science on 29 June 2017, was led by researchers from A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).

Source: A*STAR

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APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Advocacies in Support of Rare Disease Patients
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye – the Window to your Soul
September:
Infectious Diseases
October:
A change of heart — Cardiovascular diseases
November:
Paediatric Illnesses
December:
Skin Diseases and Allergic Reactions
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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