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Clin Chim Acta. 2014 Jul 1;434:41-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2014.03.036. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

The vitamin E-binding protein afamin increases in maternal serum during pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.
2
Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical School, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.
3
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
4
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical University of Graz, Austria; Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Jena University, Jena, Germany.
5
Institute of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
6
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konventhospital Barmherzige Brüder, Linz, Austria.
7
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Danube Hospital/SMZ-Ost, Vienna, Austria.
8
Department of Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.
9
Division of Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Medical Genetics, Clinical and Molecular Pharmacology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria; Vitateq Biotechnology GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address: hans.dieplinger@i-med.ac.at.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Afamin is a liver-derived plasma glycoprotein with vitamin E-binding properties and a putative function in fertility. This study evaluated serum afamin concentrations during and postpartum to uncomplicated pregnancies and investigated a potential association between afamin concentrations and pregnancy outcome.

METHODS:

Afamin serum concentrations were measured in women with uncomplicated pregnancies in a retrospective cohort (n=466) at different gestational ages and a prospective observational study (n=76) in the first, second and third trimester. Furthermore, afamin was determined in the first trimester in a cross-sectional pilot study including women with preeclampsia (PE), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and women without pregnancy complications (n=13 each). Finally, expression of afamin was investigated in human placental tissue by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS:

Afamin concentrations increased linearly almost two-fold during pregnancy in both retrospective and prospective studies in women without pregnancy complications with median afamin serum concentrations of 61.9 mg/l, 79.6 mg/l, and 98.6 mg/l in the first, second, and third trimester, respectively. After delivery, median afamin concentrations decreased to baseline values of 54.6 mg/l. In the pilot study with pregnancy complications, women with PE displayed significantly higher median afamin concentrations than did women with uncomplicated pregnancy (70.0 mg/l vs. 55.4 mg/l, P=0.007). Expression analyses revealed no placental afamin expression at either mRNA or protein level in uncomplicated pregnancy.

CONCLUSION:

A linear increase in the maternally expressed glycoprotein afamin during pregnancy may serve as basic reference for subsequent investigations of afamin in pregnancy-related disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Afamin in pregnancy; maternal expression; preeclampsia; pregnancy complications

PMID:
24768783
PMCID:
PMC4065568
DOI:
10.1016/j.cca.2014.03.036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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