Purpose of review
Preeclampsia is a systemic, pregnancy-related disorder featuring hypertension and proteinuria arising from placental overproduction of soluble FMS-like tyrosine kinase-1, resulting in an antiangiogenic state because of the inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family. Similarly, antiangiogenetic treatment aimed at targeting VEGF in patients with cancer is associated with a preeclampsia-like syndrome. In this study we discuss the pathophysiological role of an activated endothelin system in both conditions.
Recent findings
In different experimental forms of preeclampsia, in clinical preeclampsia, and in cancer patients on antiangiogenic treatment, activation of the endothelin axis invariably occurs and this activation is directly related to the circulating level of sFlt-1 or the intensity of antiangiogenic treatment. Administration of endothelin receptor A-selective or dual endothelin receptor antagonists can prevent or largely attenuate the hypertension and proteinuria in experimental forms of preeclampsia, as well as in rats exposed to receptor tyrosine-kinase inhibitors targeting VEGF-signaling, supporting the concept that activation of the endothelin axis plays a key role in the manifestations of these disorders.
Summary
Activation of the endothelin axis has now emerged as a crucial player in the manifestations of preeclampsia and following antiangiogenic treatment. As a consequence, blockade of the endothelin system may be considered as a treatment option both in preeclampsia and in antiangiogenesis-induced hypertension and renal toxicity in patients with cancer.

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doi.org/10.1097/MNH.0000000000000197, hdl.handle.net/1765/85970
Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Saleh, L, Danser, A.H.J, & van den Meiracker, A.H. (2016). Role of endothelin in preeclampsia and hypertension following antiangiogenesis treatment. Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension (Vol. 25, pp. 94–99). doi:10.1097/MNH.0000000000000197