Preeclampsia (PE), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and gestational diabetes (GDM) increase the risk of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The roles of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) are already well documented concerning inflammation, hypoxia and oxidative stress. AGEs bind to its receptor, Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-products (RAGE), and activate an inflammatory pathway. This pathway alters the efficacy of invasive trophoblast cells and in the placenta and can result in placental dysfunction. We hypothesized that the placental dysfunction found in PE, IUGR, and GDM resulted from an over activation of the RAGE-mediated inflammatory pathway. Using human placental samples, we found that RAGE protein expression via western blotting was increased in PE and decreased in IUGR while GDM remained similar to that of control placentas. We then wanted to determine the efficacy of RAGE activation to alter the invasive nature of invasive cytotrophoblasts cells. We found that the addition of AGEs to SW71 cells decreases invasion through the activation of JNK and ERK cellular signaling pathways. Altogether these findings suggest that RAGE activation in trophoblast cells seems result in insufficient placental pathogenesis causing PE, however the IUGR and GDM samples we obtained did not seem to have resulted from RAGE activation. We also found that RAGE activation can alter the ability of invasive trophoblasts to invade, thus limiting the ability of the placental cells to remodel the maternal spiral arteries. We believe that further research into specific triggers of IUGR (smoking-induced) and un-treated diabetes could result in RAGE stimulated placental insufficiency.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Physiology and Developmental Biology



Date Submitted


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RAGE, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, AGEs, pregnancy