PLD.03 Proteomics - a solution for the preterm puzzle?

Catherine S Hillman-Cooper, Mark Denbow, Andres Lopez Bernal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


INTRODUCTION: Recent systematic review confirms the potential of biomarkers to predict preterm labour.(1) AIMS: To identify plasma biomarkers that predict preterm/term labour.

METHODS: 82 women with threatened preterm labour (23-35/40) were recruited. Plasma was taken at presentation and repeated ≤24 h following spontaneous delivery. 10 case-matched sets of women were analysed across 2 experiments (n = 30). Each set comprised of a standardised control, asymptomatic low-risk antenatal sample, antenatal and postnatal sample from a symptomatic woman delivering at term, and antenatal and postnatal sample from a symptomatic woman delivering preterm. The Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer analysed samples. Protein changes were observed through the comparison of pre/post delivery ratios.

RESULTS: Two proteins were significantly up-regulated postnatally in every term sample: Haptoglobulin, Pappalysin-1 (p < 0.05). This effect was absent in preterm groups. 5 proteins were significantly down-regulated in postnatal preterm samples, whilst up-regulated postnatally in term women; Alpha-2 macroglobulin, Ig kappa chain V-I region Lay, Ig kappa chain V-I region BAN, Corticosteroid-binding globulin, Cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (p < 0.05). Alpha-2 macroglobulin was significantly up-regulated antenatally in a comparison of preterm women versus gestation-matched low-risk asymptomatic women (p < 0.05). Volcanic plots demonstrate that most proteins did not alter significantly (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Exclusive up-regulation of 2 proteins in term deliveries suggests potential variation in the underlying mechanisms of term versus preterm labour. Nevertheless, the majority of protein changes across mid-gestation are small. The significant up-regulation of Alpha-2 macroglobulin antenatally, represents a potential plasma biomarker of clinical use for the accurate diagnosis of preterm labour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A106
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Volume99 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to


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