Despite recent research progress, the biology of preeclampsia is still poorly understood and neither effective prediction nor causal therapy have yet emerged. Nevertheless, recent studies have documented new and exciting pathophysiological mechanisms for the origin and development of preeclampsia. These studies provide a more differentiated view on alterations of particular peptide systems with strong impact on angiogenesis and cardiovascular regulation in this pregnancy disorder. With the identification of the antiangiogenic factor soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 and the agonistic autoantibody to the angiotensin II type 1 receptor, two factors have been described with a clear linkage to the development of the disease. This review focuses on the most recent and relevant insights into the biology of preeclampsia and develops hypotheses regarding possible links between the reported aspects of preeclampsia.
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