Transfer of aspirin across the perfused human placental cotyledon

Robert L. Jacobson, Anthony Brewer, Annie Eis, Tariq A. Siddiqi, Leslie Myatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Pregnancy-induced hypertension is associated with a reduction in prostacyclin synthesis that is relative to normotensive pregnancy, whereas thromboxane A2 synthesis is unchanged or increased. The net effect is a decreased prostacyclin/thromboxane ratio that may result in the reduced fetal-placental blood flow seen in pregnancy-induced hypertension because thromboxane is known to constrict this circulation. Low-dose aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), which is used to treat pregnancy-induced hypertension, selectively inhibits thromboxane synthesis and therefore may alter fetal-placental blood flow. We have investigated the transfer of acetylsalicylic acid in the perfused human placental cotyledon and its effects on fetal-placental perfusion pressure. Human placental cotyledons were perfused with tissue culture medium 199 plus 5% polyvinylpyrrolidone that was gassed with 95% oxygen/5% carbon dioxide at flow rates of 10 ml/min (maternal) and 4 ml/min (fetal). Acetylsalicylic acid (10-5 mol/L) was added to the maternal circuit, and cotyledons were perfused for 1 hour with aliquots taken from a closed fetal circuit every 5 minutes. Acetylsalicylic acid was assayed by spectrofluorometry at 306 412 nm. Our data indicate an initial rapid transfer of ascetylsalicylic acid during the first 5 minutes into the fetal-placental circulation, the concentration then decreased to a steady state at 0.4 × 10-5 mol/L. Resting perfusion pressure of both maternal and fetal circulation did not change after the addition of acetylsalicylic acid to maternal perfusate and transfer to the fetal circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-944
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4 PART 1
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Low-dose aspirin
  • placenta
  • preeclampsia
  • prostacyclin
  • transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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