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Placenta. 2008 Mar;29 Suppl A:S95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2007.12.001. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Proteomics of the amniotic fluid in assessment of the placenta. Relevance for preterm birth.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, LLCI 804, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Proteomics is the study of expressed proteins and has emerged as a complement to genomic research. The major advantage of proteomics over DNA-RNA based technologies is that it more closely relates to phenotypes and not the source code. Proteomics thus holds the promise of providing a direct insight into the true mechanisms of human diseases. Historically, examination of the placenta has been the first modality to subclassify pathogenetic entities responsible for preterm birth. Because placenta is a key pathophysiological participant in several major obstetrical syndromes (preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction) identification of relevant biomarkers of placental function can profoundly impact on the prediction of fetal outcome and treatment efficacy. Since proteomics is a young science and studies that associate proteomic patterns with long-term outcome require follow-up of children up to school age, using placental pathological footprints of cellular injury as intermediate outcomes can be useful in the interim. Furthermore, knowledge on the identity of the dysregulated proteins may provide the needed breakthrough insight into novel pathophysiological pathways and unravel possible targets for therapeutical intervention that could not have been envisioned through hypothesis-driven approaches.

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