Article Text

Download PDFPDF
PLD.03 Proteomics – a solution for the preterm puzzle?
  1. CS Hillman-Cooper1,2,
  2. ML Denbow1,2,
  3. AP Lopez Bernal1
  1. 1University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2St. Michael’s Hospital, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK


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.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.