Sonia S Hassan

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Роквилл, Maryland, United States

Are you Sonia S Hassan?

Claim your profile

Publications (258)632.75 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although intra-amniotic infection is a recognized cause of spontaneous preterm labor, the noninfection-related etiologies are poorly understood. In this article, we demonstrated that the expansion of activated CD1d-restricted invariant NKT (iNKT) cells in the third trimester by administration of α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) induced late PTB and neonatal mortality. In vivo imaging revealed that fetuses from mice that underwent α-GalCer-induced late PTB had bradycardia and died shortly after delivery. Yet, administration of α-GalCer in the second trimester did not cause pregnancy loss. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ activation, through rosiglitazone treatment, reduced the rate of α-GalCer-induced late PTB and improved neonatal survival. Administration of α-GalCer in the third trimester suppressed PPARγ activation, as shown by the downregulation of Fabp4 and Fatp4 in myometrial and decidual tissues, respectively; this suppression was rescued by rosiglitazone treatment. Administration of α-GalCer in the third trimester induced an increase in the activation of conventional CD4(+) T cells in myometrial tissues and the infiltration of activated macrophages, neutrophils, and mature dendritic cells to myometrial and/or decidual tissues. All of these effects were blunted after rosiglitazone treatment. Administration of α-GalCer also upregulated the expression of inflammatory genes at the maternal-fetal interface and systemically, and rosiglitazone treatment partially attenuated these responses. Finally, an increased infiltration of activated iNKT-like cells in human decidual tissues is associated with noninfection-related preterm labor/birth. Collectively, these results demonstrate that iNKT cell activation in vivo leads to late PTB by initiating innate and adaptive immune responses and suggest that the PPARγ pathway has potential as a target for prevention of this syndrome.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Journal of Immunology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sterile intra-amniotic inflammation is associated with spontaneous preterm labor. Alarmins are proposed to mediate this inflammatory process. The aim of this study was to determine whether intra-amniotic administration of an alarmin, HMGB1, could induce preterm labor/birth. Pregnant B6 mice were intra-amniotically or intraperitoneally injected with HMGB1 or PBS (control). Following injection, the gestational age and the rates of preterm birth and pup mortality were recorded. Intra-amniotic injection of HMGB1 led to preterm labor/birth [HMGB1 57% (4/7) versus PBS 0% (0/6); P = 0.049) and a high rate of pup mortality at week 1 [HMGB1 60.9 ± 11.7% (25/41) versus PBS 28.9 ± 12.6% (11/38); P = 0.001). Intraperitoneal injection of HMGB1 did not induce preterm labor/birth. Intra-amniotic administration of HMGB1 induces preterm labor/birth.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the transcriptome of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues between pregnant and non-pregnant women. Study design: The transcriptome of paired visceral and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissues from pregnant women at term and matched non-pregnant women (n = 11) was profiled with the Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST array. Differential expression of selected genes was validated with the use of quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Results: Six hundred forty-four transcripts from 633 known genes were differentially expressed (false discovery rate (FDR) <0.1; fold-change >1.5), while 42 exons from 36 genes showed differential usage (difference in FIRMA scores >2 and FDR<0.1) between the visceral and subcutaneous fat of pregnant women. Fifty-six known genes were differentially expressed between pregnant and non-pregnant subcutaneous fat and three genes in the visceral fat. Enriched biological processes in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of pregnant women were mostly related to inflammation. Conclusion: The transcriptome of visceral and subcutaneous fat depots reveals pregnancy-related gene expression and splicing differences in both visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Furthermore, for the first time, alternative splicing in adipose tissue has been associated with regional differences and human parturition.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Placental lesions consistent with maternal vascular underperfusion (MVU) are thought to be pathogenically linked to preeclampsia, small for gestational age newborns, fetal death, and spontaneous preterm labor and delivery; yet, these lesions cannot be diagnosed antenatally. We previously reported that patients with such conditions and lesions have an abnormal profile of the angiogenic placental growth factor (PlGF) and anti-angiogenic factors [e.g., soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1)].
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We previously identified myometrial caspase-3 (CASP3) as a potential regulator of uterine quiescence. We also determined that during pregnancy, the functional activation of uterine CASP3 is likely governed by an integrated endoplasmic reticulum stress response (ERSR) and is consequently limited by an increased unfolded protein response (UPR). The present study examined the functional relevance of uterine UPR-ERSR in maintaining myometrial quiescence and regulating the timing of parturition. In vitro analysis of the human uterine myocyte hTERT-HM cell line revealed that tunicamycin (TM)-induced ERSR modified uterine myocyte contractile responsiveness. Accordingly, alteration of in vivo uterine UPR-ERSR using a pregnant mouse model significantly modified gestational length. We determined that "normal" gestational activation of the ERSR-induced CASP3 and caspase 7 (CASP7) maintains uterine quiescence through previously unidentified proteolytic targeting of the gap junction protein, alpha 1(GJA1); however, surprisingly, TM-induced uterine ERSR triggered an exaggerated UPR that eliminated uterine CASP3 and 7 tocolytic action precociously. These events allowed for a premature increase in myometrial GJA1 levels, elevated contractile responsiveness, and the onset of preterm labor. Importantly, a successful reversal of the magnified ERSR-induced preterm birth phenotype could be achieved by pretreatment with 4-phenylbutrate, a chaperone protein mimic.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Microbial invasion of the fetus due to intra-amniotic infection can lead to a systemic inflammatory response characterized by elevated concentrations of cytokines in the umbilical cord plasma/serum. Clinical chorioamnionitis represents the maternal syndrome often associated with intra-amniotic infection, although other causes of this syndrome have been recently described. The objective of this study was to characterize the umbilical cord plasma cytokine profile in neonates born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis at term, according to the presence or absence of bacteria and/or intra-amniotic inflammation. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted, including patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term (n=38; cases) and those with spontaneous term labor without clinical chorioamnionitis (n=77; controls). Women with clinical chorioamnionitis were classified according to the results of amniotic fluid culture, broad-range polymerase chain reaction coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) and amniotic fluid interleukin (IL)-6 concentration into three groups: 1) no intra-amniotic inflammation; 2) intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable microorganisms; or 3) microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation. A fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS) was defined as an umbilical cord plasma IL-6 concentration >11 pg/mL. The umbilical cord plasma concentrations of 29 cytokines were determined with sensitive and specific V-PLEX immunoassays. Nonparametric statistical methods were used for analysis, adjusting for a false discovery rate of 5%. Results: 1) Neonates born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis at term (considered in toto) had significantly higher median umbilical cord plasma concentrations of IL-6, IL-12p70, IL-16, IL-13, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-8, but significantly lower interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)-α concentrations than neonates born to mothers with spontaneous term labor without clinical chorioamnionitis; 2) neonates born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis at term but without intra-amniotic inflammation had higher concentrations of IL-6, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-8, but lower IFN-γ, than neonates not exposed to clinical chorioamnionitis, suggesting that maternal fever in the absence of intra-amniotic inflammation leads to a change in the fetal cytokine network; 3) there were significant, positive correlations between maternal and umbilical cord plasma IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations (IL-6: Spearman correlation=0.53; P<0.001; IL-8: Spearman correlation=0.42; P<0.001), consistent with placental transfer of cytokines; 4) an elevated fetal plasma IL-6 (>11 pg/mL), the diagnostic criterion for FIRS, was present in 21% of cases (8/38), and all these neonates were born to mothers with proven intra-amniotic infection; and 5) FIRS was associated with a high concentration of umbilical cord plasma IL-8, IL-10 and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1. Conclusions: Neonates born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis at term had higher concentrations of umbilical cord plasma cytokines than those born to mothers without clinical chorioamnionitis. Even neonates exposed to clinical chorioamnionitis but not to intra-amniotic inflammation had elevated concentrations of multiple cytokines, suggesting that intrapartum fever alters the fetal immune response.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neonates born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis at term are at an increased risk of infection. Acute subchorionitis, chorioamnionitis, and funisitis are considered placental histologic features consistent with acute inflammation according to the Society for Pediatric Pathology. The objectives of this study were to examine the performance of placental histologic features in the identification of: 1) microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation (intra-amniotic infection); and 2) fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS). This retrospective cohort study included women with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term (n=45), who underwent an amniocentesis to determine: 1) the presence of microorganisms using both cultivation and molecular biologic techniques [polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with broad range primers]; and 2) interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The diagnostic performance (sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and likelihood ratios) of placental histologic features consistent with acute inflammation was determined for the identification of microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation and FIRS. 1) The presence of acute histologic chorioamnionitis and funisitis was associated with the presence of proven intra-amniotic infection assessed by amniotic fluid analysis; 2) funisitis was also associated with the presence of FIRS; 3) the negative predictive value of acute funisitis ≥stage 2 for the identification of neonates born to mothers with intra-amniotic infection was
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Fever is a major criterion for clinical chorioamnionitis; yet, many patients with intrapartum fever do not have demonstrable intra-amniotic infection. Some cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), can induce a fever. The objective of this study was to determine whether maternal plasma concentrations of cytokines could be of value in the identification of patients with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term who have microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted, including patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term (n=41; cases) and women in spontaneous labor at term without clinical chorioamnionitis (n=77; controls). Women with clinical chorioamnionitis were classified into three groups according to the results of amniotic fluid culture, broad-range polymerase chain reaction coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS), and amniotic fluid IL-6 concentration: 1) no intra-amniotic inflammation; 2) intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable microorganisms; or 3) microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation. The maternal plasma concentrations of 29 cytokines were determined with sensitive and specific V-PLEX immunoassays. Nonparametric statistical methods were used for analysis, adjusting for a false discovery rate of 5%. Results: 1) The maternal plasma concentrations of pyrogenic cytokines (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) were significantly higher in patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term than in those with spontaneous term labor without clinical chorioamnionitis; 2) the maternal plasma concentrations of cytokines were not significantly different among the three subgroups of patients with clinical chorioamnionitis (intra-amniotic inflammation with and without detectable bacteria and those without intra-amniotic inflammation); and 3) among women with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis, but without evidence of intra-amniotic inflammation, the maternal plasma concentrations of pyrogenic cytokines were significantly higher than in patients with spontaneous labor at term. These observations suggest that a fever can be mediated by increased circulating concentrations of these cytokines, despite the absence of a local intra-amniotic inflammatory response. Conclusions: 1) The maternal plasma concentrations of pyrogenic cytokines (e.g. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) are higher in patients with intra-partum fever and the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term than in those in spontaneous labor at term without a fever; and 2) maternal plasma cytokine concentrations have limited value in the identification of patients with bacteria in the amniotic cavity. Accurate assessment of the presence of intra-amniotic infection requires amniotic fluid analysis.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To prospectively evaluate the performance of Fetal Intelligent Navigation Echocardiography (FINE) applied to spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC) volume datasets of the normal fetal heart. In all patients with normal fetal hearts (19-30 gestational weeks), an attempt was made to acquire STIC volume datasets of the apical four-chamber view if the following criteria were met: 1) fetal spine located between the 5- and 7-o'clock positions; 2) minimal or absent shadowing (including a clearly visible transverse aortic arch); 3) absent fetal breathing, hiccups, or movement; and 4) adequate image quality. Each STIC volume successfully acquired was evaluated by STICLoop™ to determine its appropriateness before applying the FINE method. Visualization rates for fetal echocardiography views using diagnostic planes and/or Virtual Intelligent Sonographer Assistance (VIS-Assistance®) were calculated. One or more STIC volumes (n = 365 total) were successfully obtained in 72.5% (150/207) of women undergoing ultrasound examination. Of the 365 volumes evaluated by STICLoop™, 96.2% (n = 351) were determined to be appropriate. From these, only one STIC volume per patient (n = 150) was analyzed using the FINE method, and nine fetal echocardiography views were generated using: 1) diagnostic planes in 76-100% of cases; 2) VIS-Assistance® in 98-100% of cases; and 3) a combination of diagnostic planes and/or VIS-Assistance® in 98-100% of cases. In women with normal fetal hearts (19-30 gestational weeks) undergoing prospective sonographic examination, STIC volumes can be successfully obtained in 72.5%. In such cases, the FINE method can be applied to generate nine standard fetal echocardiography views using a combination of diagnostic planes and/or VIS-Assistance® in 98-100% of cases. This suggests that FINE could be implemented in fetal cardiac screening programs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine (1) whether maternal plasma concentrations of angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors can predict which mothers diagnosed with "suspected small for gestational age fetuses (sSGA)" will develop pre-eclampsia (PE) or require an indicated early preterm delivery (≤ 34 weeks of gestation); and (2) whether risk assessment performance is improved using these proteins in addition to clinical factors and Doppler parameters. This prospective cohort study included women with singleton pregnancies diagnosed with sSGA (estimated fetal weight <10th percentile) between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation (n = 314). Plasma concentrations of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1), soluble endoglin (sEng) and placental growth factor (PlGF) were determined in maternal blood obtained at the time of diagnosis. Doppler velocimetry of the umbilical (Umb) and uterine (UT) arteries was performed. The outcomes were (1) subsequent development of PE; and (2) indicated preterm delivery at ≤34 weeks of gestation (excluding deliveries as a result of spontaneous preterm labor, preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes or chorioamnionitis). (1) The prevalence of PE and indicated preterm delivery was 9.2% (n = 29/314) and 7.3% (n = 23/314), respectively; (2) the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the identification of patients who developed PE and/or required indicated preterm delivery was greater than 80% for the UT artery pulsatility index (PI) z-score and each biochemical marker (including their ratios) except sVEGFR-1 MoM; (3) using cutoffs at a false positive rate of 15%, women with abnormal plasma concentrations of angiogenic/anti-angiogenic factors were 7-13 times more likely to develop PE, and 12-22 times more likely to require preterm delivery than those with normal plasma MoM concentrations of these factors; (4) sEng, PlGF, PIGF/sEng and PIGF/sVEGFR-1 ratios MoM, each contributed significant information about the risk of PE beyond that provided by clinical factors and/or Doppler parameters: women who had low MoM values for these biomarkers were at 5-9 times greater risk of developing PE than women who had normal values, adjusting for clinical factors and Doppler parameters (adjusted odds ratio for PlGF: 9.1, PlGF/sEng: 5.6); (5) the concentrations of sVEGFR-1 and PlGF/sVEGFR-1 ratio MoM, each contributed significant information about the risk of indicated preterm delivery beyond that provided by clinical factors and/or Doppler parameters: women who had abnormal values were at 8-9 times greater risk for indicated preterm delivery, adjusting for clinical factors and Doppler parameters; and (6) for a two-stage risk assessment (Umb artery Doppler followed by Ut artery Doppler plus biochemical markers), among women who had normal Umb artery Doppler velocimetry (n = 279), 21 (7.5%) developed PE and 11 (52%) of these women were identified by an abnormal UT artery Doppler mean PI z-score (>2SD): a combination of PlGF/sEng ratio MoM concentration and abnormal UT artery Doppler velocimetry increased the sensitivity of abnormal UT artery Doppler velocimetry to 76% (16/21) at a fixed false-positive rate of 10% (p = 0.06). Angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors measured in maternal blood between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation can identify the majority of mothers diagnosed with "suspected SGA" who subsequently developed PE or those who later required preterm delivery ≤34 weeks of gestation. Moreover, incorporation of these biochemical markers significantly improves risk assessment performance for these outcomes beyond that of clinical factors and uterine and umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the intermediate intracardiac diastolic velocities in fetuses with growth restriction. Doppler waveforms of the two atrioventricular valves were obtained. Peak velocities of the E (early) and A (atrial) components, and the lowest intermediate velocity (IDV) between them, were measured in 400 normally grown and in 100 growth-restricted fetuses. The prevalence of abnormal IDV, E/IDV, and A/IDV ratios in fetuses presenting with perinatal death or acidemia at birth (pH ≤7.1) was estimated. IDV was significantly lower and E/IDV ratios significantly higher in the two ventricles of growth-restricted fetuses with reduced diastolic velocities in the umbilical artery (p < 0.05). In 13 fetuses presenting with perinatal death or acidemia at birth, 11 (85%) had either an E/IDV or A/IDV ratio >95th percentile, whereas 5 (38%) showed absent or reversed atrial velocities in the ductus venosus (DV-ARAV; p < 0.04). Fetuses without DV-ARAV but with elevated E/IDV ratios in either ventricle were nearly 7-fold more likely to have perinatal demise or acidemia at birth (OR 6.9, 95% CI 1.4-34) than those with E/IDV ratios <95th percentile. The E/IDV and A/IDV ratios in the two cardiac ventricles might provide information about the risk of perinatal demise or acidemia in growth-restricted fetuses. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Progestogen [vaginal progesterone or 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17OHP-C)] administration to patients at risk for preterm delivery is widely used for the prevention of preterm birth (PTB). The mechanisms by which these agents prevent PTB are poorly understood. Progestogens have immunomodulatory functions; therefore, we investigated the local effects of vaginal progesterone and 17OHP-C on adaptive and innate immune cells implicated in the process of parturition. Pregnant C57BL/6J mice received vaginal progesterone (1mg/200μL, n=10) or Replens (control, 200μL, n=10) from 13 to 17 days post coitum (dpc), or were subcutaneously injected with 17OHP-C (2mg/100μL, n=10) or castor oil (control, 100μL, n=10) on 13, 15, and 17 dpc. Decidual and myometrial leukocytes were isolated prior to term delivery (18.5 dpc) for immunophenotyping by flow cytometry. Cervical tissues were collected to determine MMP-9 activity by in situ zymography and visualization of collagen content by Masson's trichrome staining. Plasma concentrations of progesterone, estradiol, and cytokines (IFNγ, IL1β, IL2, IL4, IL5, IL6, IL10, IL12p70, KC/GRO, and TNFα) were quantified by ELISAs. Pregnant mice pretreated with vaginal progesterone or Replens were injected with 10μg of an endotoxin on 16.5 dpc (n=10 each) and monitored via infrared camera until delivery to determine the effect of vaginal progesterone on the rate of PTB. 1) vaginal progesterone, but not 17OHP-C, increased the proportion of decidual CD4+ Tregs; 2) vaginal progesterone, but not 17OHP-C, decreased the proportion of decidual CD8+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells and macrophages; 3) vaginal progesterone did not cause an M1→M2 macrophage polarization, but reduced the proportion of myometrial IFNγ+ neutrophils and cervical active MMP-9+ neutrophils and monocytes; 5) 17OHP-C did not reduce the proportion of myometrial IFNy+ neutrophils; however, it increased the abundance of cervical active MMP-9+ neutrophils and monocytes; 6) vaginal progesterone immune effects were associated with reduced systemic concentrations of IL1β, but not with alterations in progesterone or estradiol concentrations; and 7) vaginal progesterone pretreatment protected against endotoxin-induced PTB (effect size 50%, p=0.008). Vaginal progesterone, but not 17OHP-C, has local anti-inflammatory effects at the maternal-fetal interface and the cervix, and protects against endotoxin-induced PTB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intra-amniotic infection/inflammation is the only mechanism of disease with persuasive evidence of causality for spontaneous preterm labor/delivery. Previous studies about the behavior of cytokines in preterm labor have been largely based on the analysis of the behavior of each protein independently. Emerging evidence indicates that the study of biological networks can provide insight into the pathobiology of disease, and improve biomarker discovery. The goal of this study is to characterize the inflammatory-related proteins network in the amniotic fluid in patients with preterm labor. A retrospective cohort study was conducted, and included women with singleton pregnancies who presented with spontaneous preterm labor and intact membranes (n=135). These patients were classified according to the results of amniotic fluid culture, broad-range polymerase chain reaction coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS), and amniotic fluid concentration of interleukin (IL)-6 into the following groups: 1) those without intra-amniotic inflammation (n=85); 2) those with microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation (n=15); and 3) those with intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable bacteria (n=35). Amniotic fluid concentrations of 33 inflammatory-related proteins were determined using a multiplex bead array assay. 1) Patients with preterm labor and intact membranes who had microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation had a higher amniotic fluid inflammatory-related protein concentration correlation than those without intra-amniotic inflammation (113 perturbed correlations). IL-1β, IL-6, MIP-1α, and IL-1α were the most connected nodes (highest degree) in this differential correlation network (degree of 20, 16, 12, and 12, respectively); 2) patients with sterile intra-amniotic inflammation had correlation patterns of inflammatory-related proteins that were both increased and decreased when compared to those without intra-amniotic inflammation (50 perturbed correlations). IL-1α, MIP-1α, and IL-1β were the most connected nodes in this differential correlation network (degrees of 12, 10, and 7, respectively); and 3) there were more coordinated inflammatory-related protein concentrations in the amniotic fluid of women with microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation than in those with sterile intra-amniotic inflammation (60 perturbed correlations), with IL-4 and IL-33 having the largest number of perturbed correlations (degree of 15 and 13, respectively). We report for the first time an analysis of the inflammatory-related protein network in spontaneous preterm labor. Patients with preterm labor who had microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation had more coordinated amniotic fluid inflammatory-related proteins than either those with sterile intra-amniotic inflammation or those without intra-amniotic inflammation. The correlations were also stronger in patients with sterile intra-amniotic inflammation than in those without intra-amniotic inflammation. The findings herein could be of value in the development of biomarkers of preterm labor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy is characterized by the infiltration of leukocytes in the reproductive tissues and at the maternal-fetal interface (decidua basalis and decidua parietalis). This interface is the anatomical site of contact between maternal and fetal tissues; therefore, it is an immunological site of action during pregnancy. Infiltrating leukocytes at the maternal-fetal interface play a central role in implantation, pregnancy maintenance, and timing of delivery. Therefore, phenotypic and functional characterizations of these leukocytes will provide insight into the mechanisms that lead to pregnancy disorders. Several protocols have been described in order to isolate infiltrating leukocytes from the decidua basalis and decidua parietalis; however, the lack of consistency in the reagents, enzymes, and times of incubation makes it difficult to compare these results. Described herein is a novel approach that combines the use of gentle mechanical and enzymatic dissociation techniques to preserve the viability and integrity of extracellular and intracellular markers in leukocytes isolated from the human tissues at the maternal-fetal interface. Aside from immunophenotyping, cell culture, and cell sorting, the future applications of this protocol are numerous and varied. Following this protocol, the isolated leukocytes can be used to determine DNA methylation, expression of target genes, in vitro leukocyte functionality (i.e., phagocytosis, cytotoxicity, T-cell proliferation, and plasticity, etc.), and the production of reactive oxygen species at the maternal-fetal interface. Additionally, using the described protocol, this laboratory has been able to describe new and rare leukocytes at the maternal-fetal interface.
    Preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate that clinical chorioamnionitis is a heterogeneous condition and only approximately one-half of the patients have bacteria in the amniotic cavity, which is often associated with intra-amniotic inflammation. The objective of this study is to characterize the nature of the inflammatory response within the amniotic cavity in patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term according to the presence or absence of 1) bacteria in the amniotic cavity and 2) intra-amniotic inflammation. A retrospective cross-sectional case-control study was conducted to examine cytokine and chemokine concentrations in the amniotic fluid (AF). Cases consisted of women with clinical chorioamnionitis at term (n=45). Controls were women with uncomplicated pregnancies at term who did not have intra-amniotic inflammation and were in labor (n=24). Women with clinical chorioamnionitis were classified according to the results of AF cultures, broad-range polymerase chain reaction coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and AF concentration of interleukin-6 (IL-6) into those: 1) without intra-amniotic inflammation, 2) with microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation, and 3) with intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable bacteria. The AF concentrations of 29 cytokines/chemokines were determined using sensitive and specific V-PLEX immunoassays. 1) The AF concentrations of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines such as interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-4 (IL-4), macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1β), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) (except Eotaxin-3) were significantly higher in women with clinical chorioamnionitis at term than in controls (term labor without intra-amniotic inflammation); 2) patients with microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation, and those with intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable bacteria, had a dramatic differential expression of cytokines and chemokines in AF compared to patients with spontaneous labor without intra-amniotic inflammation. However, no difference could be detected in the pattern of the intra-amniotic inflammatory response between patients with intra-amniotic inflammation with and without detectable bacteria; and 3) in patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term but without intra-amniotic inflammation, the behavior of cytokines and chemokines in the AF was similar to those in spontaneous labor at term. Patients with clinical chorioamnionitis who had microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation or intra-amniotic inflammation without detectable bacteria had a dramatic upregulation of the intra-amniotic inflammatory response assessed by amniotic fluid concentrations of cytokines. A subset of patients with term clinical chorioamnionitis does not have intra-amniotic infection/inflammation, as demonstrated by elevated AF concentrations of inflammation-related proteins, when compared to women in term labor with uncomplicated pregnancies, suggesting over-diagnosis. These observations constitute the first characterization of the cytokine/chemokine network in the amniotic cavity of patients with clinical chorioamnionitis at term.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis is based on a combination of signs [fever, maternal or fetal tachycardia, foul-smelling amniotic fluid (AF), uterine tenderness and maternal leukocytosis]. Bacterial infections within the amniotic cavity are considered the most frequent cause of clinical chorioamnionitis and an indication for antibiotic administration to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity. Recent studies show that only 54% of patients with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term have bacteria in the AF and evidence of intra-amniotic inflammation. The objective of this study was to examine the performance of the clinical criteria for the diagnosis of chorioamnionitis to identify patients with microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation (also termed intra-amniotic infection). This retrospective cross-sectional study included 45 patients with the diagnosis of clinical chorioamnionitis at term, whose AF underwent analysis for: 1) the presence of microorganisms using both cultivation and molecular biologic techniques [polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with broad primers], and 2) interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The diagnostic performance (sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and likelihood ratios) of each clinical sign and their combination to identify clinical chorioamnionitis were determined using microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation [presence of microorganisms in the AF using cultivation or molecular techniques and elevated AF IL-6 concentrations (≥2.6 ng/mL)] as the gold standard. The accuracy of each clinical sign for the identification of microbial-associated intra-amniotic inflammation (intra-amniotic infection) ranged between 46.7% and 57.8%. The combination of fever with three or more clinical criteria did not substantially improve diagnostic accuracy. In the presence of a fever during labor at term, signs used to diagnose clinical chorioamnionitis do not accurately identify the patient with proven intra-amniotic infection (i.e., those with microorganisms detected by culture or molecular microbiologic techniques and an associated intra-amniotic inflammatory response).
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Massive perivillous fibrin deposition of the placenta (MPFD) or maternal floor infarction (MFI) is a serious condition associated with recurrent complications including fetal death and severe fetal growth restriction. There is no method to evaluate the risk of adverse outcome in subsequent pregnancies, or effective prevention. Recent observations suggest that MFI is characterized by an imbalance in angiogenic/anti-angiogenic factors in early pregnancy; therefore, determination of these biomarkers may identify the patient at risk for recurrence. We report the case of a pregnant woman with a history of four consecutive pregnancy losses, the last of which was affected by MFI. Abnormalities of the anti-angiogenic factor, sVEGFR-1, and soluble endoglin (sEng) were detected early in the index pregnancy, and treatment with pravastatin corrected the abnormalities. Treatment resulted in a live birth infant at 34 weeks of gestation who had normal biometric parameters and developmental milestones at the age of 2. This is the first reported successful use of pravastatin to reverse an angiogenic/anti-angiogenic imbalance and prevent fetal death.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Massive perivillous fibrin deposition of the placenta (MPFD) or maternal floor infarction (MFI) is a serious condition associated with recurrent complications including fetal death and severe fetal growth restriction. There is no method to evaluate the risk of adverse outcome in subsequent pregnancies, or effective prevention. Recent observations suggest that MFI is characterized by an imbalance in angiogenic/anti-angiogenic factors in early pregnancy; therefore, determination of these biomarkers may identify the patient at risk for recurrence. We report the case of a pregnant woman with a history of four consecutive pregnancy losses, the last of which was affected by MFI. Abnormalities of the anti-angiogenic factor, sVEGFR-1, and soluble endoglin (sEng) were detected early in the index pregnancy, and treatment with pravastatin corrected the abnormalities. Treatment resulted in a live birth infant at 34 weeks of gestation who had normal biometric parameters and developmental milestones at the age of 2. This is the first reported successful use of pravastatin to reverse an angiogenic/anti-angiogenic imbalance and prevent fetal death.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Most anti-angiogenic preeclampsia models in rodents utilized the overexpression of a truncated soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) not expressed in any species. Other limitations of mouse preeclampsia models included stressful blood pressure measurements and the lack of postpartum monitoring. We aimed to 1) develop a mouse model of preeclampsia by administering the most abundant human placental sFlt-1 isoform (hsFlt-1-e15a) in preeclampsia; 2) determine blood pressures in non-stressed conditions; and 3) develop a survival surgery that enables the collection of fetuses and placentas and postpartum (PP) monitoring. Methods: Pregnancy status of CD-1 mice was evaluated with high-frequency ultrasound on gestational days (GD) 6 and 7. Telemetry catheters were implanted in the carotid artery on GD7, and their positions were verified by ultrasound on GD13. Mice were injected through tail-vein with adenoviruses expressing hsFlt-1-e15a (n = 11) or green fluorescent protein (GFP; n = 9) on GD8/GD11. Placentas and pups were delivered by cesarean section on GD18 allowing PP monitoring. Urine samples were collected with cystocentesis on GD6/GD7, GD13, GD18, and PPD8, and albumin/creatinine ratios were determined. GFP and hsFlt-1-e15a expression profiles were determined by qRT-PCR. Aortic ring assays were performed to assess the effect of hsFlt-1-e15a on endothelia. Results: Ultrasound predicted pregnancy on GD7 in 97% of cases. Cesarean section survival rate was 100%. Mean arterial blood pressure was higher in hsFlt-1-e15a-treated than in GFP-treated mice (∆MAP = 13.2 mmHg, p = 0.00107; GD18). Focal glomerular changes were found in hsFlt-1-e15a -treated mice, which had higher urine albumin/creatinine ratios than controls (109.3 ± 51.7 μg/mg vs. 19.3 ± 5.6 μg/mg, p = 4.4 x 10(-2); GD18). Aortic ring assays showed a 46% lesser microvessel outgrowth in hsFlt-1-e15a-treated than in GFP-treated mice (p = 1.2 x 10(-2)). Placental and fetal weights did not differ between the groups. One mouse with liver disease developed early-onset preeclampsia-like symptoms with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Conclusions: A mouse model of late-onset preeclampsia was developed with the overexpression of hsFlt-1-e15a, verifying the in vivo pathologic effects of this primate-specific, predominant placental sFlt-1 isoform. HsFlt-1-e15a induced early-onset preeclampsia-like symptoms associated with IUGR in a mouse with a liver disease. Our findings support that hsFlt-1-e15a is central to the terminal pathway of preeclampsia, and it can induce the full spectrum of symptoms in this obstetrical syndrome.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Preterm birth (PTB) is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. A transition from an anti-inflammatory state to a pro-inflammatory state in the mother and at the maternal-fetal interface has been implicated in the pathophysiology of microbial-induced preterm labor. However, it is unclear which immune cells mediate this transition. We hypothesized that an imbalance between innate and adaptive immune cells at the maternal-fetal interface will occur prior to microbial-induced preterm labor. Using an established murine model of endotoxin-induced PTB, our results demonstrate that prior to delivery there is a reduction of CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the uterine tissues. This reduction is neither linked to a diminished number of Tregs in the spleen, nor to an impaired production of IL10, CCL17, or CCL22 by the uterine tissues. Endotoxin administration to pregnant mice does not alter effector CD4+ T cells at the maternal-fetal interface. However, it causes an imbalance between Tregs (CD4+ and CD8+), effector CD8+ T cells, and Th17 cells in the spleen. In addition, endotoxin administration to pregnant mice leads to an excessive production of CCL2, CCL3, CCL17, and CCL22 by the uterine tissues as well as abundant neutrophils. This imbalance in the uterine microenvironment is accompanied by scarce APC-like cells such as macrophages and MHC II+ neutrophils. Collectively, these results demonstrate that endotoxin administration to pregnant mice causes an imbalance between innate and adaptive immune cells at the maternal-fetal interface.Cellular & Molecular Immunology advance online publication, 6 April 2015; doi:10.1038/cmi.2015.22.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Cellular & molecular immunology

Publication Stats

6k Citations
632.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009-2015
    • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      • Division of Intramural Research (DIR)
      Роквилл, Maryland, United States
  • 2000-2015
    • Wayne State University
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 2007
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States