Journal of Undergraduate Research


maternal-fetal interactions, induction of preeclampsia, growth arrest-specific 6 protein, Gas6, AXL


Life Sciences


Physiology and Developmental Biology


Preeclampsia (PE) is a complicated obstetric complication characterized by increased blood pressure and decreased trophoblast invasion. PE is one of the leading causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality in developed countries. The growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6) protein is known to induce different responses in cells including prevention of apoptosis and enhanced cell migration and invasion. This protein is secreted in response to growth arrest and it is increased in the serum of PE patients. This discovery suggests a mechanistic role for the Gas6 signaling pathway during PE progression. Gas6 binds to the AXL tyrosine kinase receptor and AXL-mediated signaling is implicated in proliferation and migratory mechanisms in several tissues. The role of Gas6/AXEL in control and PE placentas is unknown. Our objective was to determine the role of Gas6 and AXL signaling in the development of PE in the rat.

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