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Yachao Zhang, Jieqiong Yang, Shijian Lv, Dong-Qin Zhao, Zi-Jiang Chen, Wei-Ping Li and Cong Zhang

Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy-induced disorder characterized by hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation, affecting 5–7% of pregnancies worldwide. So far, the etiology of PE remains poorly understood. Abnormal decidualization is thought to contribute to the development of PE. SP1 belongs to the Sp/KLF superfamily and can recruit P300 to regulate the transcription of several genes. SP1 is also very important for decidualization as it enhances the expression of tissue factor. In this study, we investigated the expression of SP1 and P300 in deciduae and their relationship with PE. A total of 42 decidua samples were collected, of which 21 were from normal pregnant (NP) and 21 from severe PE. SP1 and P300 expression in deciduae and the levels of SP1 and P300 in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs) and primary hESCs during decidualization were determined. To further investigate the role of SP1 and P300 in human decidualization, RNA interference was used to silence SP1 and P300 in hESCs and primary hESCs. The following results were obtained. We found that the expressions of SP1 and P300 were reduced in decidual tissues with PE compared to those from NP. In the in vitro model of induction of decidualization, we found an increase in both SP1 and P300 levels. Silencing of SP1 and P300 resulted in abnormal decidualization and a significant reduction of decidualization markers such as insulin-like growth factor-binding protein1 and prolactin. Furthermore, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor was also decreased upon SP1 and P300 silencing. Similar results were observed in primary hESCs. Our results suggest that SP1 and P300 play an important role during decidualization. Dysfunction of SP1 and P300 leads to impaired decidualization and might contribute to PE.