Can stillbirth be prevented? Investigating this question, researchers at Inselspital and the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy have discovered a potential prevention mechanism for preterm deliveries.
Inflammatory response during pregnancy is the leading cause of preterm loss. Depending on its degree, it may also lead to preterm birth. A team of researchers from Bern and Rome in cooperation with BioIncept Inc. found that a synthetic version of the PreImplantation Factor (PIF), endogenously present in viable embryos, reduces the inflammatory response during pregnancy. The study results were published in the June 12 issue of PLOS One.
“PIF modulates key elements of the inflammatory pathway namely the inflammasome complex,” explains corresponding author PD Dr. Martin Mueller, Senior Attending in the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. “This mechanism is the first to allow influencing inflammatory response during pregnancy.”
Using a model, Mueller and the team found that PIF reduces foetal loss, reverses the inflammatory response and improves fetal growth. A series of clinically relevant in vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrated that PIF modulates the inflammasome complex in the placenta.
Lead author Nicoletta Di Simone, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Rome, was astonished at the results: “In summary, our findings suggest that PIF protects the pregnancy against an inflammatory insult.”
“This novel pathway is promising and encourages us to pursue this new line of investigation,” said co-author Dr. Daniel Surbek, Professor and Head of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics and feto-maternal medicine at Inselspital. “Given the common inflammatory origin of fetal loss and preterm birth, we may even have a new powerful treatment to prevent both,” he says.
PIF was first discovered and characterized by Eytan Barnea, founder of the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy (SIEP) and chief scientific officer at BioIncept, LLC. Based on his data, the FDA has awarded PIF fast-track designation, resulting in a recently completed first clinical trial to treat patients with autoimmune liver disease at the University of Miami.
In Bern, the research team is now evaluating the possibility of a clinical trial with pregnant subjects. The goal would be to use PIF prophylactically to prevent preterm birth in high-risk pregnancies.
PD Dr. Dr. med. Martin Müller, Senior Attending in the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, contact via email@example.com, +41 31 632 79 25.
Monika Kugemann | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences