746 research outputs found

    Pregnancy-specific responses to COVID-19 revealed by high-throughput proteomics of human plasma

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    Gomez-Lopez et al. profile the plasma proteome of pregnant and non-pregnant COVID-19 patients and controls. Shared and pregnancy-specific proteomic changes are identified in COVID-19 patients compared to controls, with the proteome accurately identifying COVID-19 patients, even when asymptomatic

    Evidence for the participation of CHCHD2/MNRR1, a mitochondrial protein, in spontaneous labor at term and in preterm labor with intra-amniotic infection

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    Intra-amniotic inflammation (IAI), associated with either microbe (infection) or danger signals (sterile), plays a major role in the pathophysiology of preterm labor and delivery. Coiled-Coil-Helix-Coiled-Coil-Helix Domain Containing 2 (CHCHD2) [also known as Mitochondrial Nuclear Retrograde Regulator 1 (MNRR1)], a mitochondrial protein involved in oxidative phosphorylation and cell survival, is capable of sensing tissue hypoxia and inflammatory signaling. The ability to maintain an appropriate energy balance at the cellular level while adapting to environmental stress is essential for the survival of an organism. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in acute systemic inflammatory conditions, such as sepsis, and is proposed to be involved in sepsis-induced multi-organ failure. The purpose of this study was to determine the amniotic fluid concentrations of CHCHD2/MNRR1 in pregnant women, women at term in labor, and those in preterm labor (PTL) with and without IAI. This cross-sectional study comprised patients allocated to the following groups: (1) mid-trimester (n = 16); (2) term in labor (n = 37); (3) term not in labor (n = 22); (4) PTL without IAI who delivered at term (n = 25); (5) PTL without IAI who delivered preterm (n = 47); and (6) PTL with IAI who delivered preterm (n = 53). Diagnosis of IAI (amniotic fluid interleukin-6 concentration ≥2.6 ng/mL) included cases associated with microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity and those of sterile nature (absence of detectable bacteria, using culture and molecular microbiology techniques). Amniotic fluid and maternal plasma CHCHD2/MNRR1 concentrations were determined with a validated and sensitive immunoassay. (1) CHCHD2/MNRR1 was detectable in all amniotic fluid samples and women at term without labor had a higher amniotic fluid CHCHD2/MNRR1 concentration than those in the mid-trimester (p = 0.003); (2) the amniotic fluid concentration of CHCHD2/MNRR1 in women at term in labor was higher than that in women at term without labor (p = 0.01); (3) women with PTL and IAI had a higher amniotic fluid CHCHD2/MNRR1 concentration than those without IAI, either with preterm (p p = 0.01); (4) women with microbial-associated IAI had a higher amniotic fluid CHCHD2/MNRR1 concentration than those with sterile IAI (p p  CHCHD2/MNRR1 is a physiological constituent of human amniotic fluid in normal pregnancy, and the amniotic concentration of this mitochondrial protein increases during pregnancy, labor at term, and preterm labor with intra-amniotic infection. Hence, CHCHD2/MNRR1 may be released into the amniotic cavity by dysfunctional mitochondria during microbial-associated IAI.</p

    The Vaginal Microbiota of Pregnant Women Varies with Gestational Age, Maternal Age, and Parity

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    ABSTRACT The composition of the vaginal microbiota is heavily influenced by pregnancy and may factor into pregnancy complications, including spontaneous preterm birth. However, results among studies have been inconsistent due, in part, to variation in sample sizes and ethnicity. Thus, an association between the vaginal microbiota and preterm labor continues to be debated. Yet, before assessing associations between the composition of the vaginal microbiota and preterm labor, a robust and in-depth characterization of the vaginal microbiota throughout pregnancy in the specific study population under investigation is required. Here, we report a large longitudinal study (n = 474 women, 1,862 vaginal samples) of a predominantly African-American cohort—a population that experiences a relatively high rate of pregnancy complications—evaluating associations between individual identity, gestational age, and other maternal characteristics with the composition of the vaginal microbiota throughout gestation resulting in term delivery. The principal factors influencing the composition of the vaginal microbiota in pregnancy are individual identity and gestational age at sampling. Other factors are maternal age, parity, obesity, and self-reported Cannabis use. The general pattern across gestation is for the vaginal microbiota to remain or transition to a state of Lactobacillus dominance. This pattern can be modified by maternal parity and obesity. Regardless, network analyses reveal dynamic associations among specific bacterial taxa within the vaginal ecosystem, which shift throughout the course of pregnancy. This study provides a robust foundational understanding of the vaginal microbiota in pregnancy and sets the stage for further investigation of this microbiota in obstetrical disease. IMPORTANCE There is debate regarding links between the vaginal microbiota and pregnancy complications, especially spontaneous preterm birth. Inconsistencies in results among studies are likely due to differences in sample sizes and cohort ethnicity. Ethnicity is a complicating factor because, although all bacterial taxa commonly inhabiting the vagina are present among all ethnicities, the frequencies of these taxa vary among ethnicities. Therefore, an in-depth characterization of the vaginal microbiota throughout pregnancy in the specific study population under investigation is required prior to evaluating associations between the vaginal microbiota and obstetrical disease. This initial investigation is a large longitudinal study of the vaginal microbiota throughout gestation resulting in a term delivery in a predominantly African-American cohort, a population that experiences disproportionally negative maternal-fetal health outcomes. It establishes the magnitude of associations between maternal characteristics, such as age, parity, body mass index, and self-reported Cannabis use, on the vaginal microbiota in pregnancy

    Toward a new taxonomy of obstetrical disease: improved performance of maternal blood biomarkers for the great obstetrical syndromes when classified according to placental pathology

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    BACKGROUND: The major challenge for obstetrics is the prediction and prevention of the great obstetrical syndromes. We propose that defining obstetrical diseases by the combination of clinical presentation and disease mechanisms as inferred by placental pathology will aid in the discovery of biomarkers and add specificity to those already known. OBJECTIVE: To describe the longitudinal profile of placental growth factor (PlGF), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), and the PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio throughout gestation, and to determine whether the association between abnormal biomarker profiles and obstetrical syndromes is strengthened by information derived from placental examination, eg, the presence or absence of placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion. STUDY DESIGN: This retrospective case cohort study was based on a parent cohort of 4006 pregnant women enrolled prospectively. The case cohort of 1499 pregnant women included 1000 randomly selected patients from the parent cohort and all additional patients with obstetrical syndromes from the parent cohort. Pregnant women were classified into six groups: 1) term delivery without pregnancy complications (n=540; control); 2) preterm labor and delivery (n=203); 3) preterm premature rupture of the membranes (n=112); 4) preeclampsia (n=230); 5) small-for-gestational-age neonate (n=334); and 6) other pregnancy complications (n=182). Maternal plasma concentrations of PlGF and sFlt-1 were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in 7560 longitudinal samples. Placental pathologists, masked to clinical outcomes, diagnosed the presence or absence of placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion. Comparisons between mean biomarker concentrations in cases and controls were performed by utilizing longitudinal generalized additive models. Comparisons were made between controls and each obstetrical syndrome with and without subclassifying cases according to the presence or absence of placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion. RESULTS: 1) When obstetrical syndromes are classified based on the presence or absence of placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion, significant differences in the mean plasma concentrations of PlGF, sFlt-1, and the PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio between cases and controls emerge earlier in gestation; 2) the strength of association between an abnormal PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio and the occurrence of obstetrical syndromes increases when placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion are present (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 13.6 vs 6.7 for preeclampsia; aOR, 8.1 vs 4.4 for small-for-gestational-age neonates; aOR, 5.5 vs 2.1 for preterm premature rupture of the membranes; and aOR, 3.3 vs 2.1 for preterm labor (all P<0.05); and 3) the PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio at 28 to 32 weeks of gestation is abnormal in patients who subsequently delivered due to preterm labor with intact membranes and in those with preterm premature rupture of the membranes if both groups have placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion. Such association is not significant in patients with these obstetrical syndromes who do not have placental lesions. CONCLUSION: Classification of obstetrical syndromes according to the presence or absence of placental lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion allows biomarkers to be informative earlier in gestation and enhances the strength of association between biomarkers and clinical outcomes. We propose that a new taxonomy of obstetrical disorders informed by placental pathology will facilitate the discovery and implementation of biomarkers as well as the prediction and prevention of such disorders.Open access articleThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected]

    The amniotic fluid proteome changes with gestational age in normal pregnancy: a cross-sectional study

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    The cell-free transcriptome in amniotic fluid (AF) has been shown to be informative of physiologic and pathologic processes in pregnancy; however, the change in AF proteome with gestational age has mostly been studied by targeted approaches. The objective of this study was to describe the gestational age-dependent changes in the AF proteome during normal pregnancy by using an omics platform. The abundance of 1310 proteins was measured on a high-throughput aptamer-based proteomics platform in AF samples collected from women during midtrimester (16–24 weeks of gestation, n = 15) and at term without labor (37–42 weeks of gestation, n = 13). Only pregnancies without obstetrical complications were included in the study. Almost 25% (320) of AF proteins significantly changed in abundance between the midtrimester and term gestation. Of these, 154 (48.1%) proteins increased, and 166 (51.9%) decreased in abundance at term compared to midtrimester. Tissue-specific signatures of the trachea, salivary glands, brain regions, and immune system were increased while those of the gestational tissues (uterus, placenta, and ovary), cardiac myocytes, and fetal liver were decreased at term compared to midtrimester. The changes in AF protein abundance were correlated with those previously reported in the cell-free AF transcriptome. Intersecting gestational age-modulated AF proteins and their corresponding mRNAs previously reported in the maternal blood identified neutrophil-related protein/mRNA pairs that were modulated in the same direction. The first study to utilize an aptamer-based assay to profile the AF proteome modulation with gestational age, it reveals that almost one-quarter of the proteins are modulated as gestation advances, which is more than twice the fraction of altered plasma proteins (~ 10%). The results reported herein have implications for future studies focused on discovering biomarkers to predict, monitor, and diagnose obstetrical diseases. © 2022, The Author(s).Open access journalThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected]

    The amniotic fluid proteome changes with gestational age in normal pregnancy: a cross-sectional study

    No full text
    The cell-free transcriptome in amniotic fluid (AF) has been shown to be informative of physiologic and pathologic processes in pregnancy; however, the change in AF proteome with gestational age has mostly been studied by targeted approaches. The objective of this study was to describe the gestational age-dependent changes in the AF proteome during normal pregnancy by using an omics platform. The abundance of 1310 proteins was measured on a high-throughput aptamer-based proteomics platform in AF samples collected from women during midtrimester (16–24 weeks of gestation, n = 15) and at term without labor (37–42 weeks of gestation, n = 13). Only pregnancies without obstetrical complications were included in the study. Almost 25% (320) of AF proteins significantly changed in abundance between the midtrimester and term gestation. Of these, 154 (48.1%) proteins increased, and 166 (51.9%) decreased in abundance at term compared to midtrimester. Tissue-specific signatures of the trachea, salivary glands, brain regions, and immune system were increased while those of the gestational tissues (uterus, placenta, and ovary), cardiac myocytes, and fetal liver were decreased at term compared to midtrimester. The changes in AF protein abundance were correlated with those previously reported in the cell-free AF transcriptome. Intersecting gestational age-modulated AF proteins and their corresponding mRNAs previously reported in the maternal blood identified neutrophil-related protein/mRNA pairs that were modulated in the same direction. The first study to utilize an aptamer-based assay to profile the AF proteome modulation with gestational age, it reveals that almost one-quarter of the proteins are modulated as gestation advances, which is more than twice the fraction of altered plasma proteins (~ 10%). The results reported herein have implications for future studies focused on discovering biomarkers to predict, monitor, and diagnose obstetrical diseases. © 2022, The Author(s).Open access journalThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected]

    The amniotic fluid proteome predicts imminent preterm delivery in asymptomatic women with a short cervix

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    Abstract Preterm birth, the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, is associated with increased risk of short- and long-term adverse outcomes. For women identified as at risk for preterm birth attributable to a sonographic short cervix, the determination of imminent delivery is crucial for patient management. The current study aimed to identify amniotic fluid (AF) proteins that could predict imminent delivery in asymptomatic patients with a short cervix. This retrospective cohort study included women enrolled between May 2002 and September 2015 who were diagnosed with a sonographic short cervix ( 1.5 for each). The sensitivity at a 10% false-positive rate for the prediction of imminent delivery by a quantitative cervical length alone was 38%, yet it increased to 79% when combined with the abundance of four AF proteins (CXCL8, SNAP25, PTPN11, and MMP8). Neutrophil-mediated immunity, neutrophil activation, granulocyte activation, myeloid leukocyte activation, and myeloid leukocyte-mediated immunity were biological processes impacted by protein dysregulation in women destined to deliver within two weeks of diagnosis. The combination of AF protein abundance and quantitative cervical length improves prediction of the timing of delivery compared to cervical length alone, among women with a sonographic short cervix

    Update on the Use of Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Pregnancy

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    Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was first administered to humans in the 1980s. The mechanism of action of IVIG is still a subject of debate but the pharmacokinetics have been well characterized, albeit outside of pregnancy. IVIG has been used in pregnancy to treat several nonobstetrical and obstetrical-related conditions. However, current evidence suggests that IVIG use during pregnancy can be recommended for 1) in utero diagnosis of neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia; 2) gestational alloimmune liver disease; 3) hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn for early-onset severe intrauterine disease; 4) antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) when refractory to or contraindicated to standard treatment, or in catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome; and 5) immune thrombocytopenia when standard treatment is ineffective or rapid increase of platelet counts is needed. All recommendations are based on case series and cohort studies without randomized trials usually because of the rare prevalence of the conditions, the high incidence of adverse outcomes if left untreated, and ethical concerns. In contrast, IVIG therapy cannot be recommended for recurrent pregnancy loss, and the use of IVIG in subgroups of those with recurrent pregnancy loss requires further investigations. For non-obstetrical-related conditions, we recommend using IVIG as indicated for nonpregnant patients. In conclusion, the use of IVIG during pregnancy is an effective treatment in some obstetrical-related conditions with rare serious maternal side effects. However, the precise mechanisms of action and the long-term immunologic effects on the fetus and neonate are poorly understood and merit further investigations

    Crowdsourcing assessment of maternal blood multi-omics for predicting gestational age and preterm birth.

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    Identification of pregnancies at risk of preterm birth (PTB), the leading cause of newborn deaths, remains challenging given the syndromic nature of the disease. We report a longitudinal multi-omics study coupled with a DREAM challenge to develop predictive models of PTB. The findings indicate that whole-blood gene expression predicts ultrasound-based gestational ages in normal and complicated pregnancies (r = 0.83) and, using data collected before 37 weeks of gestation, also predicts the delivery date in both normal pregnancies (r = 0.86) and those with spontaneous preterm birth (r = 0.75). Based on samples collected before 33 weeks in asymptomatic women, our analysis suggests that expression changes preceding preterm prelabor rupture of the membranes are consistent across time points and cohorts and involve leukocyte-mediated immunity. Models built from plasma proteomic data predict spontaneous preterm delivery with intact membranes with higher accuracy and earlier in pregnancy than transcriptomic models (AUROC = 0.76 versus AUROC = 0.6 at 27-33 weeks of gestation)

    Reduced fetal growth velocity precedes antepartum fetal death

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    ObjectivesTo determine whether decreased fetal growth velocity precedes antepartum fetal death and to evaluate whether fetal growth velocity is a better predictor of antepartum fetal death compared to a single fetal biometric measurement at the last available ultrasound scan prior to diagnosis of demise.MethodsThis was a retrospective, longitudinal study of 4285 singleton pregnancies in African- American women who underwent at least two fetal ultrasound examinations between 14 and 32- weeks of gestation and delivered a liveborn neonate (controls; n- =- 4262) or experienced antepartum fetal death (cases; n- =- 23). Fetal death was defined as death diagnosed at - ¥- 20- weeks of gestation and confirmed by ultrasound examination. Exclusion criteria included congenital anomaly, birth at <- 20- weeks of gestation, multiple gestation and intrapartum fetal death. The ultrasound examination performed at the time of fetal demise was not included in the analysis. Percentiles for estimated fetal weight (EFW) and individual biometric parameters were determined according to the Hadlock and Perinatology Research Branch/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (PRB/NICHD) fetal growth standards. Fetal growth velocity was defined as the slope of the regression line of the measurement percentiles as a function of gestational age based on two or more measurements in each pregnancy.ResultsCases had significantly lower growth velocities of EFW (P- <- 0.001) and of fetal head circumference, biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference and femur length (all P- <- 0.05) compared to controls, according to the PRB/NICHD and Hadlock growth standards. Fetuses with EFW growth velocity <- 10th percentile of the controls had a 9.4- fold and an 11.2- fold increased risk of antepartum death, based on the Hadlock and customized PRB/NICHD standards, respectively. At a 10% false- positive rate, the sensitivity of EFW growth velocity for predicting antepartum fetal death was 56.5%, compared to 26.1% for a single EFW percentile evaluation at the last available ultrasound examination, according to the customized PRB/NICHD standard.ConclusionsGiven that 74% of antepartum fetal death cases were not diagnosed as small- for- gestational age (EFW <- 10th percentile) at the last ultrasound examination when the fetuses were alive, alternative approaches are needed to improve detection of fetuses at risk of fetal death. Longitudinal sonographic evaluation to determine growth velocity doubles the sensitivity for prediction of antepartum fetal death compared to a single EFW measurement at the last available ultrasound examination, yet the performance is still suboptimal. © 2020 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/168272/1/uog23111_am.pdfhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/168272/2/uog23111.pd
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