In gravid women who are destined to develop pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), normal pregnancy-associated refractoriness to the pressor effects of administered angiotensin II (A-II) is lost several weeks before the onset of hypertension. From a study of the determinants of A-II pressor responsiveness in normal gravid women, it appears likely that the loss of resistance to A-II is principally unrelated to plasma renin activity or to plasma A-II levels. However, it recently has been shown that the vascular refractoriness to A-II in normal women can be reduced significantly by the administration of the prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors, indomethacin or aspirin. In seven women who had developed PIH and who had lost their refractoriness to A-II, the infusion of 5α-pregnan-3,20-dione (5α-DHP) was associated with restoration of refractoriness to the pressor effects of A-II. Moreover, in five nomotensive gravid women beyond 28 weeks' gestation in whom the refractoriness to A-II was reduced by the administration of indomethacin, the intravenous infusion of 5α-DHP was associated with restoration of refractoriness to the pressor effects of A-II. These observations are consistent with the view that a progesterone metabolite(s) may be important in the maintenance of normal blood pressure during human pregnancy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology