PLoS One. 2022 Nov 3;17(11):e0277098. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277098. eCollection 2022.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the expression profile of microRNAs in the peripheral blood of pregnant women with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) compared to that of healthy pregnant women.
STUDY DESIGN: This was a pilot study with case-control design in pregnant patients enrolled between January 2017 and June 2019. Patients with healthy pregnancies and those affected by PPROM between 20- and 33+6 weeks of gestation were matched by gestational age and selected for inclusion to the study. Patients were excluded for multiple gestation and presence of a major obstetrical complication such as preeclampsia, diabetes, fetal growth restriction and stillbirth. A total of ten (n = 10) controls and ten (n = 10) patients with PPROM were enrolled in the study. Specimens were obtained before administration of betamethasone or intravenous antibiotics. MicroRNA expression was analyzed for 800 microRNAs in each sample using the NanoString nCounter Expression Assay. Differential expression was calculated after normalization and log2- transformation using the false discovery rate (FDR) method at an alpha level of 5%.
RESULTS: Demographic characteristics were similar between the two groups. Of the 800 miRNAs analyzed, 116 were differentially expressed after normalization. However, only four reached FDR-adjusted statistical significance. Pregnancies affected by PPROM were characterized by upregulation of miR-199a-5p, miR-130a-3p and miR-26a-5p and downregulation of miR-513b-5p (FDR adjusted p-values <0.05). The differentially expressed microRNAs participate in pathways associated with altered collagen and matrix metalloprotease expression in the extracellular matrix.
CONCLUSION: Patients with PPROM have a distinct peripheral blood microRNA profile compared to healthy pregnancies as measured by the NanoString Expression Assay.