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!
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences