Plasma S1P and Sphingosine are not Different Prior to Pre-Eclampsia in Women at High Risk of Developing the Disease

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Sphingolipids like sphingosine-1phosphate (S1P) have been implicated in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia. We hypothesized that plasma S1P would be increased in women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia who subsequently develop the disease. Low circulating placental growth factor (PlGF) is known to be associated with development of pre-eclampsia; so further, we hypothesized that increased S1P would be associated with concurrently low PlGF. This was a case-control study using stored maternal blood samples from 14 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, collected from 95 women at increased risk of pre-eclampsia. Pregnancy outcome was classified as uncomplicated, preterm pre-eclampsia (<37 weeks), or term pre-eclampsia. Plasma lipids were extracted and analyzed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization MS/MS to determine concentrations of S1P and sphingosine. Median plasma S1P was 0.339 nmol/ml, and median sphingosine was 6.77 nmol/l. There were no differences in the plasma concentrations of S1P or sphingosine in women who subsequently developed pre-eclampsia, no effect of gestational age, fetal sex, ethnicity, or the presence of pre-existing hypertension. There was a correlation between S1P and sphingosine plasma concentration (P < 0.0001). There was no relationship between S1P or sphingosine with PlGF. Previous studies have suggested that plasma S1P may be a biomarker of pre-eclampsia. In our larger study, we failed to demonstrate there are women at high risk of developing the disease. We did not show a relationship with known biomarkers of the disease, suggesting that S1P is unlikely to be a useful predictor of the development of pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100312
Journal Journal of Lipid Research
Issue number1
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • PlGF
  • S1P
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • sphingosine


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