Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetic mutation increases risk of preterm birth

04.02.2008
Mutations in immune system gene linked to placental injury common in preterm babies

Genetic mutations in the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) gene appear to have significant association with inflammatory injury to the placenta and developing baby, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences report at the 28th annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Scientific sessions continue through Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Dallas Hyatt Regency at Reunion.

“This indicates a possible genetic predisposition to a kind of misfire in immune system response that could contribute to placental inflammation and spontaneous preterm birth,” said Hyagriv Simhan, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is presenting the work. “These injuries are important because they are more common in preterm babies and associated with major health consequences like cerebral palsy.”

TLR4 enables the body to recognize pathogens and activate the immune system. This gene is expressed most abundantly in the placenta and in white blood cells.

For the study, researchers analyzed DNA from placental tissue samples and cord blood from 111 women and their babies, finding that one maternal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in TLR4 (rs1079932) and one fetal SNP (rs1554973) demonstrated “highly significant association with chorionic plate inflammation,” irrespective of adjustment for maternal race, smoking and lower genital tract infection, all of which can contribute to genetic mutation. Women with TLR4 mutation were 5.2 times more likely to exhibit inflammatory injury to placental tissue than those without the mutation, Dr. Simhan noted. Babies with TLR4 mutation were nearly five times more likely to exhibit inflammatory placental injury than those without the mutation.

“Being aware of these genetic mutations may lead to better screening efforts,” Dr. Simhan said.

Defined as any birth prior to 37 weeks gestation, preterm birth affects some 12 percent of pregnancies in the United States. Costs have been estimated at $26 billion, or $52,000 per infant, in medical care and lost productivity as of 2005, according to the Institute of Medicine. A recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that preterm birth contributed to more than a third of infant deaths – twice as many as previously thought and making it the leading cause of infant deaths – yet the underlying causes of premature birth remain poorly understood.

More than 500,000 babies are born too soon each year nationwide, and the preterm birth rate has increased more than 30 percent since 1981. Babies who do survive face risks of lifelong challenges related to cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing loss, as well as other developmental problems.

Michele D. Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>