[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preterm birth (PTB) is a complex disorder associated with significant neonatal mortality and morbidity and long-term adverse health consequences. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. This study was designed to identify genetic variation associated with PTB in oxytocin pathway genes whose role in parturition is well known.
To identify common genetic variants predisposing to PTB, we genotyped 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin (OXT), oxytocin receptor (OXTR), and leucyl/cystinyl aminopeptidase (LNPEP) genes in 651 case infants from the U.S. and one or both of their parents. In addition, we examined the role of rare genetic variation in susceptibility to PTB by conducting direct sequence analysis of OXTR in 1394 cases and 1112 controls from the U.S., Argentina, Denmark, and Finland. This study was further extended to maternal triads (maternal grandparents-mother of a case infant, N=309). We also performed in vitro analysis of selected rare OXTR missense variants to evaluate their functional importance.
Maternal genetic effect analysis of the SNP genotype data revealed four SNPs in LNPEP that show significant association with prematurity. In our case--control sequence analysis, we detected fourteen coding variants in exon 3 of OXTR, all but four of which were found in cases only. Of the fourteen variants, three were previously unreported novel rare variants. When the sequence data from the maternal triads were analyzed using the transmission disequilibrium test, two common missense SNPs (rs4686302 and rs237902) in OXTR showed suggestive association for three gestational age subgroups. In vitro functional assays showed a significant difference in ligand binding between wild-type and two mutant receptors.
Our study suggests an association between maternal common polymorphisms in LNPEP and susceptibility to PTB. Maternal OXTR missense SNPs rs4686302 and rs237902 may have gestational age-dependent effects on prematurity. Most of the OXTR rare variants identified do not appear to significantly contribute to the risk of PTB, but those shown to affect receptor function in our in vitro study warrant further investigation. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the findings of this study.
BMC Medical Genetics 07/2013; 14(1):77. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amnion is a specialized tissue in contact with the amniotic fluid, which is in a constantly changing state. To investigate the importance of epigenetic events in this tissue in the physiology and pathophysiology of pregnancy, we performed genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of human amnion from term (with and without labor) and preterm deliveries. Using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip, we identified genes exhibiting differential methylation associated with normal labor and preterm birth. Functional analysis of the differentially methylated genes revealed biologically relevant enriched gene sets. Bisulfite sequencing analysis of the promoter region of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene detected two CpG dinucleotides showing significant methylation differences among the three groups of samples. Hypermethylation of the CpG island of the solute carrier family 30 member 3 (SLC30A3) gene in preterm amnion was confirmed by methylation-specific PCR. This work provides preliminary evidence that DNA methylation changes in the amnion may be at least partially involved in the physiological process of labor and the etiology of preterm birth and suggests that DNA methylation profiles, in combination with other biological data, may provide valuable insight into the mechanisms underlying normal and pathological pregnancies.
The Scientific World Journal 01/2013; 2013:678156. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective We analyzed the role of environmental risk factors, sociodemographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, and reproductive history in preterm births and their associated perinatal outcomes in families classified according to their histories of preterm recurrence among siblings.Study Design A retrospective study was conducted at Nuestra Señora de la Merced Maternity Hospital in the city of Tucumán, Argentina. A total of 348 preterm, nonmalformed, singleton children born to multipara women were reviewed. The family history score described by Khoury was applied, and families were classified as having no, medium, or high genetic aggregation.Results Families with no familial aggregation showed a higher rate of short length of cohabitation, maternal urinary tract infections during the current pregnancy, and maternal history of miscarriage during the previous pregnancy. Families with a high level of aggregation had a significantly higher incidence of pregnancy complications, such as diabetes, hypertension, and immunologic disorders.Conclusion Reproductive histories clearly differed between the groups, suggesting both a different response to environmental challenges based on genetic susceptibility and the activation of different pathophysiological pathways to determine the duration of pregnancy in each woman.
American Journal of Perinatology 11/2012; · 1.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:To investigate genetic etiologies of preterm birth (PTB) in Argentina through evaluation of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes and population genetic admixture.Study Design:Genotyping was performed in 389 families. Maternal, paternal and fetal effects were studied separately. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was sequenced in 50 males and 50 females. Y-chromosome anthropological markers were evaluated in 50 males.Result:Fetal association with PTB was found in the progesterone receptor (PGR, rs1942836; P=0.004). Maternal association with PTB was found in small conductance calcium activated potassium channel isoform 3 (KCNN3, rs883319; P=0.01). Gestational age associated with PTB in PGR rs1942836 at 32-36 weeks (P=0.0004). MtDNA sequencing determined 88 individuals had Amerindian consistent haplogroups. Two individuals had Amerindian Y-chromosome consistent haplotypes.Conclusion:This study replicates single locus fetal associations with PTB in PGR, maternal association in KCNN3, and demonstrates possible effects for divergent racial admixture on PTB.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 27 September 2012; doi:10.1038/jp.2012.118.
Journal of perinatology: official journal of the California Perinatal Association 09/2012; · 1.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) increase mortality and morbidity risks for affected infants especially in less developed countries. This study aimed at assessing the effects of systematic pediatric care on neonatal mortality and hospitalizations of infants with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) in South America.
The intervention group included live-born infants with isolated or associated CL/P in 47 hospitals between 2003 and 2005. The control group included live-born infants with CL/P between 2001 and 2002 in the same hospitals. The intervention group received systematic pediatric care between the 7th and 28th day of life. The primary outcomes were mortality between the 7th and 28th day of life and hospitalization days in this period among survivors adjusted for relevant baseline covariates.
There were no significant mortality differences between the intervention and control groups. However, surviving infants with associated CL/P in the intervention group had fewer hospitalization days by about six days compared to the associated control group.
Early systematic pediatric care may significantly reduce neonatal hospitalizations of infants with CL/P and additional birth defects in South America. Given the large healthcare and financial burden of CL/P on affected families and the relatively low cost of systematic pediatric care, improving access to such care may be a cost-effective public policy intervention.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine associations between rs9883204 in ADCY5 and rs900400 near LEKR1 and CCNL1 with birth weight in a preterm population. Both markers were associated with birth weight in a term population in a recent genome-wide association study of Freathy et al.
A meta-analysis of mother and infant samples was performed for associations of rs900400 and rs9883204 with birth weight in 393 families from the US, 265 families from Argentina, and 735 mother-infant pairs from Denmark. Z-scores adjusted for infant sex and gestational age were generated for each population separately and regressed on allele counts. Association evidence was combined across sites by inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis.
Each additional C allele of rs900400 (LEKR1/CCNL1) in infants was marginally associated with a 0.069 SD lower birth weight (95% CI, -0.159 to 0.022; P = .068). This result was slightly more pronounced after adjusting for smoking (P = .036). No significant associations were identified with rs9883204 or in maternal samples.
These results indicate the potential importance of this marker on birth weight regardless of gestational age.
The Journal of pediatrics 08/2011; 160(1):19-24.e4. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reports of birth defects rates may focus on defects observed in the newborn period or include defects diagnosed at older ages. However, little information is available on the rates of additional anomalies detected after birth or on the ages at which such anomalies are diagnosed. The aims of this work were to describe the initial diagnoses of oral clefts, isolated or associated with other defects, in newborn infants ascertained in hospitals of the ECLAMC network, and diagnostic changes that occurred due to detection of additional defects during a 1-year follow-up period. Seven hundred ten liveborn infants with cleft lip only (CLO), cleft lip with cleft palate (CLP), or cleft palate (CP) were ascertained between 2003 and 2005. Prevalence estimates of isolated and associated (ASO) clefts, diagnoses in infants with associated clefts, and the percentage of isolated clefts that were reclassified as associated were established. Birth prevalence estimates (per 1,000) were as follows: Total: 1.7; CLP: 0.94 (ASO = 23.5%); CP: 0.46 (ASO = 42.3%); CLO: 0.28 (ASO = 7.6%). Initial diagnoses in infants with associated clefts included 38 infants with chromosomal abnormalities, 33 with non-chromosomal syndromes, 16 with malformation sequences, and 98 with multiple anomalies of unknown etiology. Seven percent of newborns initially classified as isolated were later reclassified as associated. Ten infants without associated defects or clinically suspected syndromes were diagnosed as syndromic only through laboratory findings or family history, illustrating the difference between the terms associated versus isolated, which refers to presence or absence of associated anomalies, and syndromic versus non-syndromic, which refers to etiology.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 07/2011; 155A(7):1588-96. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beare-Stevenson syndrome is characterized by cutis gyrata, acanthosis nigricans, skin furrows, skin tags, craniosynostosis, Crouzonoid-like features in some cases and cloverleaf skull in others, anogenital anomalies, and prominent umbilical stump. Reported causes are an FGFR2 Tyr375Cys mutation in nine cases and an FGFR2 Ser372Cys mutation in one case. Here, we report on a second patient with the FGFR2 Ser372Cys mutation.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 04/2008; 146A(5):658-60. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contribution of birth defects, including cleft lip and palate, to neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity is substantial. As other mortality and morbidity causes including infections, hygiene, prematurity, and nutrition are eradicated in less developed countries, the burden of birth defects will increase proportionally.
We are using cleft lip and palate as a sentinel birth defect to evaluate its burden on neonatal and infant health and to assess the effectiveness of systematic pediatric care during the first month and first two years of life in decreasing this burden. The neonatal intervention, consisting of weekly pediatric evaluation and referral to appropriate care, is delivered to about 696 infants born with cleft lip and/or palate in 47 hospitals in South America. Neonatal mortality in this group will be compared to that in a retrospective control group of about 464 infants born with cleft lip and/or palate in the same hospitals. The subgroup of infants with isolated clefts of both the lip and palate (about 264) is also randomized into two groups, intervened and non-intervened, and further followed up over 2 years. Intervened cases are evaluated by pediatricians every three months and referred for appropriate care. The intervened and non-intervened cases will be compared over study outcomes to evaluate the intervention effectiveness. Non-intervened cases are matched and compared to healthy controls to assess the burden of cleft lip and palate. Outcomes include child's neurological and physical development and family social and economic conditions.
Large-scale clinical trials to improve infant health in developing countries are commonly suggested, making it important to share the methods used in ongoing studies with other investigators implementing similar research. We describe here the content of our ongoing pediatric care study in South America. We hope that this may help researchers targeting this area to plan their studies more effectively and encourage the development of similar research efforts to target other birth defects or infant outcomes such as prematurity and low birth weight.