Malondialdehyde and Antioxidant Enzymes in Maternal and Cord Blood, and their Correlation in Normotensive and Preeclamptic Women

Mohd Suhail, Safia Suhail, Bharat Kumar Gupta, Vinay Bharat


Background: An increased oxidative level and decreased antioxidant activities in the blood of preeclamptic women have been reported by us and other workers. The present study was aimed to evaluate oxidative stress in infants born to preeclamptic mothers, and to examine whether cord blood with oxygen radical disease had different total enzymatic antioxidant status than those without preeclampsia.
Methods: The present study consisted of 23 normotensive (served as control) and 23 preeclamptic mothers. We compared their oxidative and anti-oxidative system in maternal and cord blood of pair-matched mother and neonate. Their blood malondialdehyde (MDA), antioxidant enzymes were determined and compared to evaluate if pro-oxidative status of preeclampsia differs from the status in cord blood of pair-matched neonate. 
Results: The MDA content in preeclamptic maternal plasma was significantly high (p < 0.001) compared to that of control. Interestingly, its content in preeclamptic cord blood was significantly low (p < 0.001) compared to their pair-matched maternal blood. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was 8.7% higher in cord as compared to pair-matched normotensive maternal blood which was significant (p = 0.01) whereas in preeclamptic cord the level decreased significantly (p = 0.011) in comparison to pair-matched preeclamptic maternal. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) was 16.4% higher in normotensive cord compared to maternal blood, and 7% low in preeclamptic cord compared to pair-matched maternal blood. The increase was significant (P = 0.011) in normotensive cord whereas in preeclamptic cord the decrease was insignificant (p=0.06). Contrary to earlier reports on catalase activity, our results showed 20.97% elevation in normotensive and 16.12% increase in the preeclamptic cord blood compared to their pair-matched maternal blood. This change was significant with p = 0.01 and p = 0.017 in control and preeclamptic group respectively.
Conclusions: Our results showed the significantly low MDA contents in the pair-matched cord blood and the activities of SOD, GPx and Catalase mentioned above, we conclude that the oxidative stress status is low in the blood of neonates born to preeclamptic mothers. Further studies are needed to explore strategies so that the normal levels of antioxidant vitamins are maintained to combat preeclampsia in women at high risk.

Publish ahead of print August 12, 2009


Maternal; Cord blood; Malondialdehyde; Antioxidant enzymes; Glutathione peroxidase; Glutathione reductase; Superoxide dismutase; Catalase

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