Gene expression in term placentas is regulated more by spinal or epidural anesthesia than by late-onset preeclampsia or gestational diabetes mellitus

Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 11;6:29715. doi: 10.1038/srep29715.


Pre-eclampsia (PE) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are common complications of pregnancy, but the mechanisms underlying these disorders remain unclear. The aim was to identify the extent of altered gene expression in term placentas from pregnant women with late-onset PE and GDM compared to controls. RNAseq identified few significantly differentially regulated genes in placental biopsies between PE, GDM, or uncomplicated pregnancy (n = 10 each group). Five genes were altered in placentas from PE including 4 non-coding genes and Angiopoietin 2 (ANGPT2). No genes were significantly regulated by GDM. In contrast, many genes were significantly regulated by fetal, maternal and delivery-specific variables, particularly spinal and epidural anesthesia. We selected ANGPT2 and Chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 14 (CXCL14) to test with qPCR in a larger set of placentas (n = 475) and found no differences between the groups. However, regression analysis revealed a stronger association between placental ANGPT2 and CXCL14 mRNA expression and fetal, maternal and delivery-specific variables than diagnostic group. To conclude, the gene expression in term placentas are highly affected by fetal, maternal and delivery specific variables. Few regulated genes were found in late-onset PE and GDM placentas, which may suggest that these conditions could be more affected by maternal factors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Epidural*
  • Anesthesia, Spinal*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / metabolism*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / pathology
  • Pregnancy