PloS one

Evaluation of current and new biomarkers in severe preeclampsia: a microarray approach reveals the VSIG4 gene as a potential blood biomarker.

PMID 24349325


Preeclampsia is a placental disease characterized by hypertension and proteinuria in pregnant women, and it is associated with a high maternal and neonatal morbidity. However, circulating biomarkers that are able to predict the prognosis of preeclampsia are lacking. Thirty-eight women were included in the current study. They consisted of 19 patients with preeclampsia (13 with severe preeclampsia and 6 with non-severe preeclampsia) and 19 gestational age-matched women with normal pregnancies as controls. We measured circulating factors that are associated with the coagulation pathway (including fibrinogen, fibronectin, factor VIII, antithrombin, protein S and protein C), endothelial activation (such as soluble endoglin and CD146), and the release of total and platelet-derived microparticles. These markers enabled us to discriminate the preeclampsia condition from a normal pregnancy but were not sufficient to distinguish severe from non-severe preeclampsia. We then used a microarray to study the transcriptional signature of blood samples. Preeclampsia patients exhibited a specific transcriptional program distinct from that of the control group of women. Interestingly, we also identified a severity-related transcriptional signature. Functional annotation of the upmodulated signature in severe preeclampsia highlighted two main functions related to "ribosome" and "complement". Finally, we identified 8 genes that were specifically upmodulated in severe preeclampsia compared with non-severe preeclampsia and the normotensive controls. Among these genes, we identified VSIG4 as a potential diagnostic marker of severe preeclampsia. The determination of this gene may improve the prognostic assessment of severe preeclampsia.