Scientists can predict which women will have serious complications in pregnancy

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A new study has shown that women who will develop life-threatening disorders during pregnancy can be identified early when hormone levels in the placenta are tested.

Pregnancy disorders affect about one in ten . Almost all organ systems in the mother’s body need to alter their function during pregnancy so that the baby can grow. If the mother’s body cannot adapt properly to the growing baby, this leads to common and important problems such as restriction of fetal growth, excessive growth of the fetus, , and preeclampsia, which endangers his life to the sea.

Many of these complications involve difficult work with more medical intervention and lifelong problems for the baby, including diabetes, heart problems and obesity.

Pregnancy disorders are usually diagnosed during the second or third trimester of pregnancy when they have often already had a severe impact on the health of the mother and baby. Current methods for diagnosing pregnancy disorders are not sensitive or reliable enough to identify all high-risk pregnancies.

Now scientists have found a way to test it to the placenta to predict which women will have serious complications in pregnancy.

Dr. Amanda N. Sferruzzi-Perri, a member of St John’s College, Cambridge, leads a laboratory in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience and is the lead author of a new paper published today in Nature Communications Biology.

Dr. Sferruzzi-Perri said: “The female body is remarkable and, from the moment of conception, the body of the pregnant woman has to change almost all the organ systems for the fetus to develop. The fetus also needs nutrients and oxygen to grow, so the mother has to change her metabolism and vascular system so she can provide them.

“We know that the placenta causes many of the changes in women’s bodies during pregnancy and our study found that hormonal biomarkers of the placenta could indicate which women would have complications in pregnancy. We found that these biomarkers are present. from the first trimester of pregnancy, women are usually only diagnosed with complications during the second or third trimester when the disorders can already have serious consequences for the health of the mother and her developing baby.

“This is a very important finding given that pregnancy disorders affect one in ten pregnant women and are often diagnosed too late when complications are already wreaking havoc on the mother’s body and fetal development.”

The placenta is a complex biological organ. It forms and grows from the fertilized egg and attaches to the wall of the uterus. It allows nutrients and oxygen to flow from mother to baby and removes fetal waste. Despite its importance, the placenta is a well-understood organ and is notoriously difficult to study in pregnant women. But their ability to function properly is vital as it affects the results of pregnancy and the health of the mother and child throughout life.

The placenta develops during pregnancy and connects the developing baby with the mother. It serves as a lung, kidney, intestine and liver to grow and transports oxygen and nutrients to the fetus while secreting hormones and discarding waste.

Using mouse models, the researchers examined the proteins produced by the placenta and compared them with blood samples from women who had trouble-free pregnancies and those who developed gestational diabetes. The team developed new methods to isolate and study endocrine cells from the mouse placenta because these cells are responsible for the secretion of hormones during pregnancy. They profiled the placenta to identify the hormones that are secreted to create a complete map of proteins in the mysterious organ.

He The placental hormone protein map was compared with data sets of studies on the human placenta and pregnancy outcomes, and researchers discovered a large number of biological overlaps.

Dr. Sferruzzi-Perri said: “We found that about a third of the proteins we identified changed in women during pregnancies with disorders. Through a small study to see if these placental proteins will have any clinical value, we also found that abnormal hormone levels were present in the mother’s blood from the first trimester (week 12 of gestation) in women who developed gestational diabetes, a pregnancy it is usually diagnosed at 24-28 weeks.

“We have also identified several specific transcription factors (cell proteins that activate or deactivate genes) that are likely to govern the production of placental hormones that have important implications for understanding how we can improve pregnancy outcomes.”

The scientists explored whether these genetic biomarkers were detectable during pregnancy and used a study that tracked pregnancy outcomes in women at Cambridge’s Addenbrooke Hospital. They found that blood samples showed these biomarkers in early pregnancy, which could lead to an early diagnosis of complications that would allow treatment to begin more quickly.

Dr. Claire Meek, a physician in diabetes during pregnancy and a researcher in Addenbrooke, said: “This form of pregnancy-induced diabetes causes accelerated growth of the baby and complications at the time of delivery. Unfortunately, some women already have signs of an older baby at the time of diagnosis at 28 weeks. This new test could identify gestational diabetes before pregnancy, providing opportunities to prevent the disease or protect mothers and babies from the most harmful complications. “

Dr Sferruzzi-Perri said: “This work provides new hope that a better understanding of the placenta will lead to safer and healthier pregnancies for mothers and babies. Our team is now working to assess whether these findings could improve the future clinical care.by early diagnosis or to provide new opportunities to treat them complications oriented to the . ”


The placentas adapt when mothers have poor or low oxygen diets during pregnancy


More information:
Nature Communications Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s42003-021-02214-x

Citation: Scientists Can Predict Which Women Will Have Serious Pregnancy Complications (2021, June 8) Recovered on June 8, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-scientists-women-pregnancy-complications .html

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