Longitudinal plasma inflammatory proteome profiling during pregnancy in the Born into Life study

Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 20;10(1):17819. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74722-5.


The maternal immune system is going through considerable changes during pregnancy. However, little is known about the determinants of the inflammatory proteome and its relation to pregnancy stages. Our aim was to investigate the plasma inflammatory proteome before, during and after pregnancy. In addition we wanted to test whether maternal and child outcomes were associated with the proteome. A cohort of 94 healthy women, enrolled in a longitudinal study with assessments at up to five time points around pregnancy, ninety-two inflammatory proteins were analysed in plasma with a multiplex Proximity Extension Assay. First, principal components analysis were applied and thereafter regression modelling while correcting for multiple testing. We found profound shifts in the overall inflammatory proteome associated with pregnancy stage after multiple testing (p < .001). Moreover, maternal body mass index (BMI) was associated with inflammatory proteome primarily driven by VEGFA, CCL3 and CSF-1 (p < .05). The levels of most inflammatory proteins changed substantially during pregnancy and some of these were related to biological processes such as regulation of immune response. Maternal BMI was significantly associated with higher levels of three inflammation proteins calling for more research in the interplay between pregnancy, inflammation and BMI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chemokine CCL3 / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Pregnancy / immunology
  • Pregnancy / metabolism*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Proteome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • CCL3 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Proteome
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor