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Proteomics. 2004 Jul;4(7):1909-17.

Applications of proteomic methodologies to human pregnancy research: a growing gestation approaching delivery?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Australia.


Maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality rates are significantly higher in pregnancies complicated by preterm labor, pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction. Decades of research have not translated into a clear understanding of the underlying pathophysiologies or effective identification of women who are at high risk of developing these complications. Often the severity of these diseases does not correlate with the clinical symptoms, and current diagnostic methods are unable to accurately predict the conditions prior to clinical presentation. Though several potential markers have been proposed for each of these disorders, to date none have proven clinical utility. Emerging proteomic technology is only beginning to be employed in pregnancy research. A comprehensive analysis of gestational tissues can be expected to contribute to the elucidation of the complex molecular mechanisms of pregnancy and related complications. Comparison of the expression profiles of normal and pathogenic tissues and biofluids may also highlight novel candidate marker proteins that have so far remained undetected. More interestingly, rapidly evolving technologies using sophisticated bioinformatic tools are demonstrating their potential in disease diagnostics by using overall protein profiles to detect diseases. The clinical significance of these methodological advances is enormous. Early diagnosis together with improved understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms can enhance outcomes and increase effective management and therapeutic options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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