Mechanism of increased maternal serum total activin A and inhibin A in preeclampsia

Helayne M. Silver, Geralyn M. Lambert-Messerlian, Fernando M. Reis, Anna Maria Diblasio, Felice Petraglia, Jacob A. Canick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether increased levels of maternal serum total activin A and inhibin A in preeclampsia are related to total blood volume, urinary clearance, or placental production. Study design: Activin A and inhibin A levels were measured in preeclamptic subjects and matched normotensive gravidas. In a subset of preeclamptic subjects (n = 21) and controls (n = 30), we performed blood volume studies. In an overlapping subset of preeclamptic subjects (n = 56), creatinine clearance results were available. Placental tissue was obtained from six preeclamptics and matched normotensive gravida for analysis of activin A and inhibin A mRNA expression. Results: Maternal serum levels of inhibin A but not activin A were significantly negatively correlated with blood volume in preeclampsia (r2 = .26, P = .017, and r2 = .02, P = .44, respectively). Levels of both proteins were negatively correlated to creatinine clearance (r2 = .29, P <.0001, and r2 = .15, P = .003, respectively). Placental mRNA expression for both the α and βA subunits was increased in preeclampsia (P = .038 and .049, respectively). Conclusion: Although placental mRNA expression of the subunits for both analytes is increased in preeclampsia, the increased levels of activin A appear to be more specifically a reflection of increased placental production than do the increased levels of inhibin A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-312
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 10 2002


  • Activin A
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Inhibin A
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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