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Cytokine. 2010 Jan;49(1):10-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2009.08.014. Epub 2009 Sep 26.

Mid-trimester maternal plasma cytokines and CRP as predictors of spontaneous preterm birth.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, Que., Canada. michael.kramer@mcgill.ca

Abstract

Most previous studies of maternal cytokines and preterm birth have analyzed immunologic biomarkers after the onset of labor or membrane rupture; fewer have examined the systemic (blood) immune response prior to labor onset. We carried out a case-control study nested in a large (n=5337) prospective, multi-center cohort. Cohort women had an interview, examination, and venipuncture at 24-26 weeks. Frozen plasma samples in women with spontaneous preterm birth (n=207) and approximately 2 term controls per case (n=444) were analyzed using Luminex multianalyte profiling technology. Fresh placentas were fixed, stained, and blindly assessed for histologic evidence of infection/inflammation, decidual vasculopathy, and infarction, and vaginal swabs were analyzed for bacterial vaginosis and fetal fibronectin concentration. High maternal matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) concentration, but none of the other cytokines or C-reactive protein (CRP), was significantly associated with spontaneous preterm birth [adjusted OR=1.7 (1.1-2.4)] and showed a dose-response relation across quartiles. No association was observed, however, between maternal MMP-9 and placental infection/inflammation, bacterial vaginosis, or vaginal fetal fibronectin concentration. Our results require confirmation in future studies but suggest that a systemic immune response implicating MMP-9 may have an etiologic role in spontaneous preterm birth.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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