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Clin Exp Hypertens. 2012;34(5):334-41. doi: 10.3109/10641963.2011.649931. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Epigenetics and microRNAs in preeclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Strong evidence suggests a potential link among epigenetics, microRNAs (miRNAs), and pregnancy complications. Much research still needs to be carried out to determine whether epigenetic factors are predictive in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE), a life-threatening disease during pregnancy. Recently, the importance of maternal epigenetic features, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, epigenetically regulated miRNA, and the effect of imprinted or non-imprinted genes on trophoblast growth, invasion, as well as fetal development and hypertension in pregnancy, has been demonstrated in a series of articles. This article discusses the current evidence of this complicated network of miRNA and epigenetic factors as potential mechanisms that may underlie the theories of disease for PE. Translating these basic epigenetic findings to clinical practice could potentially serve as prognostic biomarkers for diagnosis in its early stages and could help in the development of prophylactic strategies.

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