Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels of Tau and phospho-tau-181 Proteins During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Hypertens. 2016 Oct;6(4):384-387. doi: 10.1016/j.preghy.2016.08.243. Epub 2016 Aug 28.


Objectives: During pregnancy various interactions occur between structural alterations of the maternal brain and placental metabolism. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of tau and phospho-tau-181 protein vary during normal pregnancy and in women with preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.

Study design: We measured cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, tau and phospho-tau-181 protein levels in 90 pregnant women electively assigned for regional anaesthesia during pregnancy or for cesarean section using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

Results: Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations for tau and phospho-tau-181 in 66 women with normal pregnancy were 308.5±117.3pg/mL and 50.5±16.7pg/mL, respectively. Blood pressure, liver function, clotting activity and kidney function were significantly different in eleven women with preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. The weight of the newly born (p<0.001; HR: 0.998), the weight of the placenta (p=0.018) and concentrations for phospho-tau-181 (p=0.043; HR: 1.211) correlated significantly with the disease.

Conclusion: Mean concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid tau and phospho-tau-181 protein during pregnancy were evaluated. Phospho-tau-181 protein concentrations correlated with placental function supporting the hypothesis that altered expression of neuronal factors during pregnancy may affect development of the placenta.

Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid proteins; Placenta; Pregnancy preeclampsia; Tau protein function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Birth Weight*
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Pressure
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • HELLP Syndrome / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • HELLP Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Organ Size
  • Placenta / pathology*
  • Placenta / physiopathology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins