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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Dec;9(6):445-52.

The genetic contribution towards preterm delivery.

Author information

  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Human Immunogenetics Program, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

Indirect evidence supports a possible genetic predisposition towards preterm birth. The recurrence of spontaneous preterm delivery in individual women, families and ethnic groups suggests a long-acting aetiology, consistent with a genetic factor. Genetic contributions from both mother and fetus probably play a role in determining gestational length. Preliminary genetic association studies implicate gene variants of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in preterm birth. Further understanding of a genetic predisposition begins with investigation of the pathogenesis of preterm delivery. Technological advances in the study of the human genome (genomics) and protein complement (proteomics) will allow identification of novel genes and proteins involved in preterm delivery. Insight into the complex gene regulation and protein production in preterm delivery may contribute to an understanding of a genetic basis. A discovered genetic factor may lead to medical breakthroughs and reductions in prematurity, neonatal morbidity and mortality.

PMID:
15691782
DOI:
10.1016/j.siny.2004.04.001
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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