The role of amyloid in pre-eclampsia

Scientists are working to see if unusual amyloid proteins could be used to predict pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is difficult to predict. However, recent research has shown that an unusual type of protein called amyloid has been found in the urine of women with pre-eclampsia. Amyloid proteins have structures that are very different to most proteins.

This project looked at whether amyloid protein is only found in women with pre-eclampsia, or if it is also present in other medical conditions that affect the kidneys.

We found that the protein also exists in the urine of pregnant and non-pregnant women with kidney disease, so simply testing urine for amyloid protein may not help us tell when a woman has pre-eclampsia.

The next step will be to find out if the structure and composition of this protein differs in these conditions, to see whether this could help predict pre-eclampsia. 


Dr Fergus McCarthy, Professor Lucilla Poston, Dr Carolyn Gill, Professor Lucy Chappell, Mr Paul Seed, Professor Guillermina Girardi, Dr Kate Bramham

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This study takes place in a Tommy's centre and is supported by Tommy's, the National Institute for Health Research and the Academy of Medical Sciences

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