The hypothesis of this study is that many plasma proteins are altered in concentration and
structure in preeclampsia and the elucidation of these alterations will add to the poorly
understood pathophysiology of preeclampsia. In this study we will compare the maternal
plasma proteomes of early-onset severe preeclampsia versus healthy controls, compare protein
expression and quantification of the maternal plasma proteome at the time of diagnosis of
EOS-preeclampsia to the plasma proteome of the same affected subject at 48 hours post
delivery and we will verify the placental expression of differentially expressed or
post-translationally modified proteins found in the plasma of women with EOS-preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia affects 7-10% of all pregnancies and is directly responsible for 50,000
maternal deaths and 900,000 perinatal deaths each year. Preeclampsia remains unpredictable
and incurable except through premature delivery of the fetus. It is essential that a better
understanding of preeclampsia is obtained.
Proteomics offers a methodology for identification and quantification of each protein
fraction found in human plasma in both disease and health. Since proteins are the basic
elements of human biology, it is anticipated that alterations in protein posttranslational
modification or total protein expression would be indicative and diagnostic of a disease
state. Because proteins are recognized to act as messengers through hormone action, act as
enzymes to catalyze important organic reactions and serve as structural components of the
human body, they are the most representative of the current state of metabolic and
structural activity in both the naive and disease state.
Two groups of patients will be enrolled: (1) Patients with EOS-preeclampsia (N=30) and (2)
healthy patients with normal pregnancies (N=120). The patients with EOS-preeclampsia will
be matched (1:4) with contemporaneous control patients who are carrying a singleton
gestation at a similar gestational age. To measure changes in proteins, we will compare
proteins in the blood plasma of women with EOS-preeclampsia before and after pregnancy. We
will also compare the blood plasmas of healthy versus EOS-preeclamptic women for differences
in plasma proteins. Finally, we will examine the placental RNA of patients with
EOS-preeclampsia and healthy patients delivered at 35-37 weeks gestation.
- 20-34 weeks completed gestational age
- Multiple gestation
- Chronic hypertension
- Tobacco Use