Gene expression in CVS at 11 weeks

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Gene expression in CVS at 11 weeks

Postby caryn » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:57 am

...Altered expression was found among several genes including those involved in invasion of human trophoblasts (Titin), in inflammatory stress (Lactotransferrin), endothelial aberration (Claudin 6), angiogenesis (Vasohibin 1), blood pressure control (Adducin 1). Also the peripheral blood from preeclampsia patients showed significant differences for all the genes studied...

This is interesting -- I need to pull the full-text. In humans, usually, IIRC, "altered expression" means that genes are switched on when they're not *usually* switched on. One of the primary ways to modify the developmental pathways is to change the timing of the expression of genes, and one of the things that makes humans distinctly different from our cousins the great apes is that we have genes switch on at different times in our developmental pathway. We have substantial neoteny -- more immature babies, flatter faces, less hair, etc. -- because the timing of those genes has been altered. It's why we're human. :-)

So in women who later develop preeclampsia, CVS sampling of the placenta at 11 weeks gestation reveals a boatload of genes switched on at the wrong time. And it's mostly the ones you'd expect to see altered -- the ones that control trophoblast invasion (so the setup of the placenta is dysregulated), the ones that control inflammation, the ones that control blood vessel maintenance and repair and construction, and the ones that control blood pressure.

This could be really handy as a pre-symptomatic diagnostic tool in countries where CVS is a readilly available and cheap option.

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