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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 8, 2010

Evaluation of a panel of circulating DNA, RNA and protein potential markers for pathologies of pregnancy

Silvia Galbiati, Vincenza Causarano, Pamela Pinzani, Salvianti Francesca, Claudio Orlando, Maddalena Smid, Federica Pasi, Maria T. Castiglioni, Paolo Cavoretto, Patrizia Rovere-Querini, Silvia Pedroni, Stefano Calza, Maurizio Ferrari and Laura Cremonesi


Background: Among markers of pregnancy complications, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA, long pentraxin 3 (PTX3) protein and fetal and total DNA had been reported to be increased in the plasma of women with overt preeclampsia (PE). We developed an optimized protocol to evaluate whether concentrations of CRH mRNA, PTX3 mRNA and protein, fetal and/or total DNA are increased in fetal growth restriction (FGR), and whether they predict complications of pregnancy.

Methods: The protocol included a preamplification step to enrich rare mRNA species. CRH and PTX3 mRNA, DNA and PTX3 protein were measured in the plasma of women with PE or FGR, in women at risk of developing these pathologies and in healthy women matched for gestational age.

Results:CRH mRNA, fetal and/or total DNA and PTX3 protein were significantly increased in women with overt PE when compared to controls. Pregnant women who later developed PE or FGR during pregnancy showed total DNA levels that were significantly increased before the onset of both pathologies, while RNA markers were increased only in women who later developed PE.

Conclusions: Our protocol for plasma RNA quantification may allow for the extension of a panel of predictive markers to be investigated in larger patient cohorts.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:791–4.

Corresponding author: Laura Cremonesi, Genomic Unit for the Diagnosis of Human Pathologies, Center for Genomics, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132 Milan, Italy Phone: +39 02 26434779, Fax: +39 02 26434351,

Received: 2009-11-9
Accepted: 2010-1-26
Published Online: 2010-04-8
Published in Print: 2010-06-01

©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York