Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene That Helps Regulate Immune System is Linked to Preeclampsia, Researchers Find

15.02.2011
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that the placentas of women who suffer preeclampsia during pregnancy have an overabundance of a gene associated with the regulation of the body’s immune system. Their discovery may lead to improved screening and prenatal care for these patients and their babies.

Preeclampsia occurs in up to 10 percent of all pregnancies, and is responsible for about 15 percent of pre-term births. The disorder is usually marked by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to stroke, seizures or organ failures in the mother. Researchers have recently begun looking at preeclampsia as an autoimmune disorder, in which the mother’s body treats the placenta like an invader, but they weren’t sure of the genetic mechanisms involved.

Dr. Jorge Piedrahita, professor of genomics, along with colleagues from NC State and the Duke University School of Medicine, examined the genetic makeup of placentas from women with preeclampsia and compared the results to those from normal pregnancies. Their results are published in the February issue of the journal Placenta.

“When we looked at the preeclampsic placentas, we found that several genes associated with a particular autoimmune pathway were ‘upregulated’ – basically, that there were more of them in placentas of preeclampsic women than in normal placentas,” Piedrahita says. “More specifically, we found the upregulation of a particular enzyme involved in sialic acid modification called SIAE. Sialic acid coats every cell in our body, making it possible for our immune system to distinguish ‘self’ from ‘not-self.’ If this process is disrupted, the body can end up attacking itself.”

The researchers were excited by this finding because SIAE has recently been linked to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes.

“Prior to this research, we knew that there was an autoimmune cascade effect with preeclampsia, but we didn’t know where it originated,” Piedrahita adds. “Now we know that disregulation of SIAE helps start the cascade. We’ve been able to fill in the blanks, and hopefully pregnant women and their babies will benefit as a result.”

The research was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research are part of NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Note to editors: An abstract of the paper follows.

“Transcriptional profiling of human placentas from pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia reveals disregulation of sialic acid acetylesterase and immune signalling pathways”

Authors: J.A. Piedrahita, S. Tsai, N.E. Hardison, A.A. Motsinger-Reif, S.R. Bischoff , North Carolina State University; B.H. Thames, A.H. James, Duke University School of Medicine

Published: February, 2011 in Placenta

Abstract: The placenta plays an important role as a regulator of fetal nutrition and growth throughout development and placental factors contribute to gestational abnormalities such as preeclampsia. This study describes the genome-wide gene expression profiles of a large (n ¼ 60) set of human placentas in order to uncover gene expression patterns associated with preeclampsia. In addition to confirming changes in expression of soluble factors associated with preeclampsia such as sFLT1 (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1), sENG (soluble endoglin), and INHA (inhibin alpha), we also find changes in immune-associated signaling pathways, offering a potential upstream explanation for the shallow trophoblast invasion and inadequate uterine remodeling typically observed in pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Notably, we also find evidence of preeclampsia-associated placental upregulation of sialic acid acetylesterase (SIAE), a gene functionally associated with autoimmune diseases.

Tracey Peake | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>