Maternal Serum Meteorin Levels and the Risk of Preeclampsia

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 29;10(6):e0131013. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131013. eCollection 2015.


Background: Meteorin (METRN) is a recently described neutrophic factor with angiogenic properties. This is a nested case-control study in a longitudinal cohort study that describes the serum profile of METRN during different periods of gestation in healthy and preeclamptic pregnant women. Moreover, we explore the possible application of METRN as a biomarker.

Methods and findings: Serum METRN was measured by ELISA in a longitudinal prospective cohort study in 37 healthy pregnant women, 16 mild preeclamptic women, and 20 healthy non-pregnant women during the menstrual cycle with the aim of assessing serum METRN levels and its correlations with other metabolic parameters. Immunostaining for METRN protein was performed in placenta. A multivariate logistic regression model was proposed and a classifier model was formulated for predicting preeclampsia in early and middle pregnancy. The performance in classification was evaluated using measures such as sensitivity, specificity, and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. In healthy pregnant women, serum METRN levels were significantly elevated in early pregnancy compared to middle and late pregnancy. METRN levels are significantly lower only in early pregnancy in preeclamptic women when compared to healthy pregnant women. Decision trees that did not include METRN levels in the first trimester had a reduced sensitivity of 56% in the detection of preeclamptic women, compared to a sensitivity of 69% when METRN was included.

Conclusions: The joint measurements of circulating METRN levels in the first trimester and systolic blood pressure and weight in the second trimester significantly increase the probabilities of predicting preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Decision Trees
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / blood*
  • Logistic Models
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / blood*
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • METRN protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins

Grant support

This work has been supported by grants from the Direccion Nacional de Investigaciones (DIB) [JEC], the Vicerrectoria de Investigaciones of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia [JEC], COLCIENCIAS (Cod. 110154531660) [JEC], Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (CD: BFU2011–29102; RN: BFU2012–35255), Xunta de Galicia (RN: EM 2012/039 and 2012-CP069) and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER) de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn). CIBERobn is an initiative of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) of Spain which is supported by FEDER funds. The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under the following grants: CD: no. 245009: NeuroFAST, and RN: ERC-2011-StG-OBESITY53–281408. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.