Preeclampsia is the leading cause of death and disability, for both mothers and babies, killing approximately 76,000 mothers and 500,000 babies globally every year. Despite this, the only cure at present is to deliver the placenta and the baby, with the potential for long term complications.
In recent years stem cell therapies have been investigated in animal models. A review article published in Current Hypertension Reports investigates mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) as a potential new treatment for preeclampsia.
Senior author, Dr. Lana McClements, from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) said that preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication which manifests as a sudden onset of high blood pressure and organ damage, often involving kidneys or liver, in the second half of pregnancy.
Most of the deaths associated with preeclampsia occur in developing or low-resource countries however preeclampsia rates in developing countries are increasing due to increase rates of obesity, diabetes and age of women getting pregnant. While there are fewer deaths caused by preeclampsia in developing countries, the economic burden on the healthcare systems is significant.”
Dr. Lana McClements, University of Technology Sydney
“In addition, studies show that beyond life-threatening complications in pregnancy preeclampsia is associated with increased maternal and offspring ill health in later life which makes this review important. If stem cell therapies have potential to treat this condition in pregnancy then their application needs to be assessed for clinical trials,” she says.
Dr McClements and