Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica

Unmethylated-maspin DNA in maternal plasma is associated with severe preeclampsia.

PMID 26095742


Cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma is associated with complications of pregnancy, including preeclampsia. Determination of levels is affected by fetal gender and genetic polymorphisms. Unmethylated maspin (u-maspin) is present in the placenta, and is placental-specific. The purpose of this study was to determine whether u-maspin DNA in maternal blood could serve as a marker of preeclampsia by measuring levels in different trimesters of normal pregnancies and in those complicated by preeclampsia. This case-control study was set in a tertiary care hospital. The population consisted of 45 women with normal pregnancies (15 in the 1st trimester, 15 in the 2nd trimester, 15 in the 3rd trimester), 20 women with mild preeclampsia, 25 women with severe preeclampsia, and six women with gestational trophoblastic disease. Peripheral blood was collected and methylation-specific PCR and fluorescence quantitative PCR were performed to measure the content of u-maspin DNA in maternal blood. U-maspin DNA was 5.5-fold higher in women with severe preeclampsia than in those with a normal 3rd trimester pregnancy (p < 0.05). During normal pregnancy, u-maspin DNA in maternal plasma tended to increase with advancing gestational age (p = 0.06). U-maspin DNA was not detected in healthy non-pregnant women or those with gestational trophoblastic disease. U-maspin DNA in maternal blood is associated with severe preeclampsia.