CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0305.v3
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: mature triphyllic cystic teratoma; posterior mediastinum; fetal teratoma; germ cell tumor; prenatal diagnosis
Online: 18 September 2023 (07:14:56 CEST)
A teratoma is a neoplasm composed of cell populations or tissues that remind, in their appearance, normal elements derived from at least two embryonic layers. Fetal mature teratomas are normally benign, cystic, and typically occur along the midline, while they are rare in the posterior mediastinum. Teratomas are frequently solitary, however they may sometimes be associated with other congenital anomalies and/or with chromosomal abnormalities. Clinically, they are often asymptomatic but can occasionally cause compression symptoms. Prenatal diagnoses are uncommon and made with ultrasonography; differential diagnosis with other congenital conditions is mandatory. We report the case of a 21 weeks of gestational age-old fetus with a Mature Triphyllic Fetal Cystic Teratoma, grade 0, located in the right posterior mediastinum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0261.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: fetal macrosomia; gestational diabetes; maternal obesity; birth weight; fetal growth
Online: 15 August 2022 (11:56:31 CEST)
Objective To Identify risk factors of perinatal complications amongst macrosomic babies in a reference hospital structure. Method We conducted a case-control institutional based study. Cases and controls of singleton livebirths were extracted from the maternity registry from January 2017 to December 2019 The case population consisted of mother and child macrosomic couples with perinatal complications. The control group consisted of couples without perinatal complications. Matching was done on age and sex. The main primary end point was the risk factors for complications. Data were analyzed using R, software version3.0 in adjusted and unadjusted analysis with p<0.05 threshold considered statistically significant. Results Out of 362 couples, we had 186 cases and 176 controls. Maternal age ≥30 years (p=0.024); non-screening for gestational diabetes (p=0.027); history of caesarean section (p=0.041); weight gain ≥16 kg (p<0.001); maternal HIV (p=0.047); birth weight ≥4500g (p=0.015) and birth height ≥ 52.7 ±1.7cm (p=0.026) were risk factors. Conclusion The delivery of a macrosomic baby remains problematic in this setting. The improvement of the maternal-fetal prognosis requires quality prenatal surveillance and management by a multidisciplinary perinatal team involving obstetricians, endocrinologist, and neonatal pediatricians.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0257.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: fetal macrosomia; gestational diabetes; maternal obesity; birth weight; fetal growth
Online: 15 August 2022 (11:25:18 CEST)
To Identify risk factors of perinatal complications amongst macrosomic babies in a reference hospital structure.We conducted a case-control institutional based study. Cases and controls of singleton livebirths were extracted from the maternity registry from January 2017 to December 2019 The case population consisted of mother and child macrosomic couples with perinatal complications. The control group consisted of couples without perinatal complications. Matching was done on age and sex. The main primary end point was the risk factors for complications. Data were analyzed using R, software version3.0 in adjusted and unadjusted analysis with p<0.05 threshold considered statistically significant.Out of 362 couples, we had 186 cases and 176 controls. Maternal age ≥30 years (p=0.024); non-screening for gestational diabetes (p=0.027); history of caesarean section (p=0.041); weight gain ≥16 kg (p<0.001); maternal HIV (p=0.047); birth weight ≥4500g (p=0.015) and birth height ≥ 52.7 ±1.7cm (p=0.026) were risk factors. The delivery of a macrosomic baby remains problematic in this setting. The improvement of the maternal-fetal prognosis requires quality prenatal surveillance and management by a multidisciplinary perinatal team involving obstetricians, endocrinologists and neonatal pediatricians.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1390.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: intrauterine fetal death; term pregnancies
Online: 23 October 2023 (10:48:05 CEST)
Introduction: Intrauterine fetal death (IFD) is death of fetus after the 20th week of gestation. Despite regular monitoring, the incidence of IFD remains high. This study aims to assess the incidence and risk factors for IFD in term pregnancies for better prevention and reduction of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted with term pregnant women diagnosed with IFD. The analysis included the number of deliveries, live births, and stillbirths. Statistical analysis involves descriptive and analytical statistical methods. Results: Average age was 30 years. Most patients had intermediate and high education, and one-third of patients had regular pregnancy monitoring. 53.33% were primiparous, and pregnancies occurred spontaneously. IFD mainly occurred in the 39th week of gestation. The average birth weight was approximately 3000g. 38.3% had one to two associated diseases, 5% more than three, and 56.7% were healthy. Recurrence of IFD was reported by 10% of patients, while 8.33% had a history of spontaneous abortion. Over 80% of placental histopathological findings indicated some pathology (infarction, infections, abruptio placenta). Conclusion: The most significant risk factors were pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders, obesity, and diabetes, followed by hypothyroidism, maternal tachycardia, and anemia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1240.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: prenatal; WES; sequencing; exome; fetal; malformations
Online: 19 September 2023 (15:20:11 CEST)
Objective Our objective was to observe the benefits and limitations of WES (Whole Exome Sequencing) in the prenatal setting, in the Romanian population. The scope was to observe the diagnostic yield in comparison to molecular karyotyping testing, which had negative results, as well as a case of consanguinity. Methods The first criteria was selecting pregnancies with abnormal ultrasound findings. These findings would not lead the medical team to a certain known syndrome. Second, we performed SNP-array, which tested negative in all cases, except for Case number 9 which had an abnormal result. The ulterior testing method was WES, using Massive Parallel Sequencing of the whole coding region of the human genome on Next Generation Sequencing Platform, NovaSeq 6000 (average coverage >100X, read length: 2x100bp). The Twist Human Core Exome kit RefSeq & Mitochondrial panel (Twist Bioscience) was used for the library preparation. Bioinformatic analysis was performed by direct comparison of the genome of the test sample with the human reference sequence (hg38). Results Our small cohort of 10 patients, resulted in a 50% diagnostic yield. After receiving the results whether a diagnose or a negative result, 2 couples chose to terminate the pregnancy, 5 were born affirmatively without symptoms, and are still monitored up to date. One of the pregnancies led to a stillbirth. We have also found 3 incidental findings that helped the multidisciplinary team better manage the patient as well as the members at risk. Conclusion In this article we present 10 cases which were tested through prenatal WES, showing the great diagnostic yield in comparison to SNP-array in our selected cases. As a closing remark, we wish to highlight the benefits of WES testing in prenatal cases. Further testing is needed to get a clearer picture of the prenatal diagnostic yield in the Romanian population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0428.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: newborn, intrauterine hypoxia, fetal hypoxia, differentiation
Online: 7 July 2023 (07:28:56 CEST)
Embryo and fetus grow in a hypoxic environment. Intrauterine oxygen levels fluctuate throughout the pregnancy allowing the oxygen to modulate apparently contradictory functions, such as the expansion of stemness but also differentiation. We have recently demonstrated that in the last weeks of pregnancy oxygenation progressively increases, but the trend of oxygen levels during the previous weeks remains to be clarified. In the present study, umbilical venous and arterial oxygen levels, fetal oxygen extraction, oxygen content, CO2, and lactate were evaluated in a cohort of healthy newborns with gestational age < 37 weeks. A progressive decrease in pO2 levels associated with a concomitant increase in pCO2 and reduction of pH has been observed starting from the 23rd week until approximately the 33-34th week of gestation. Over this period, despite the increased hypoxemia, oxygen content remains stable thanks to increasing hemoglobin concentration, which allows the fetus to becoming more hypoxemic, but not more hypoxic. Starting from the 33-34th week, fetal oxygenation increases and ideally continues following the trend recently described in term fetuses. The present study confirms that oxygenation during intrauterine life continues to vary even after placenta development, showing a clear biphasic trend. Fetuses, in fact, from mid-gestation to near-term become progressively more hypoxemic. However, starting from the 33-34th week, oxygenation progressively increases until birth. In this regard, our data suggest that the placenta is the hub that ensures this variable oxygen availability to the fetus, and we speculate that this biphasic trend is functional to the promotion, in specific tissues and at specific timing, of stemness and intrauterine differentiation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2052.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Gestational Age; Fetal Brain; MRI
Online: 31 July 2023 (03:07:23 CEST)
Abstract: Accurately predicting a fetus's gestational age (GA) is of utmost importance in prenatal care. This study aimed to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) model that can automatically predict GA using biometric measurements derived from fetal brain mag-netic resonance imaging (MRI). Additionally, we aimed to assess the significance of con-sidering different references when interpreting GA predictions. To achieve this, we obtained measurements such as Biparietal Diameter (BPD), Fron-to-occipital Diameter (FOD), and Head Circumference (HC) from a dataset comprising 52 normal fetal MRI cases with T2 Haste sequences from Rush University. Both manual and AI-based methods were utilized to acquire these measurements. We also employed three reference papers (Garel, Freq, and Bio) for comparison purposes. The results demonstrated a strong correlation between manual and AI measure-ments, indicating consistency between the two methods. The AI-based measurement of HC exhibited a higher correlation with actual values compared to BPD, FOD, and correct-ed BPD (BPDC). When comparing these measurements with GA in the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), the differences varied depending on the reference used. Specifically, the differences ranged from 0.47 to 2.17 weeks for BPD, 0.46 to 2.26 weeks for FOD, and 0.75 to 1.74 weeks for HC. Furthermore, the Pearson correlation coeffi-cient analysis revealed that all correlation coefficients between PACS records and GA pre-dictions using different references were greater than 0.97. In conclusion, the AI model based on fetal brain MRI accurately predicts GA by uti-lizing BPD, FOD, and HC measurements. The AI approach, which involves combining line segments to calculate fetal head circumference, offers improved accuracy and con-venience compared to manual estimation. This study underscores the potential of AI models in accurately estimating gestational age and highlights their utility in prenatal care. By integrating AI as a valuable tool in prenatal care, we can enhance the accuracy, ef-ficiency, and decision-making involved in assessing fetal development and monitoring pregnancies using MRI measurements.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0139.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: chorioamnionitis; fetal lung; vascularization; alveolarization; lung inflammation
Online: 8 November 2022 (02:33:57 CET)
There is disagreement on the associations between chorioamnionitis and pneumonia/sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and bronchopulmonary (BPD)dysplasia, three pulmonary outcomes of concern for preterm newborns. Determining clear correlations is challenging due to the intricacy of the prenatal, postnatal, and therapeutic practices that affect the diagnosis of RDS, pneumonia/sepsis, and BPD, two long-term outcomes, as well as their short- and long-term consequences. Owing to the interconnected nature of the variables, the vaguely defined fetal exposures, and the imprecise identification of disorders like RDS and BPD, multivariant studies of huge data sets are unreliable methods for defining associations. On the other hand, research using animal models offers reliable data regarding the effects of exploratory chorioamnionitis on the fetal lung. Understanding the clinical intricacy and the experimental consequences of chorioamnionitis together will help us understand on the impact on the fetal lung .
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0039.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Other Keywords: fetal heart rate, baseline, acceleration, deceleration, dataset
Online: 2 July 2019 (11:17:55 CEST)
The fetal heart rate (FHR) is a screening signal for preventing fetal hypoxia during labor. When experts analyze this signal, they have to position a baseline and identify decelerations and accelerations. These steps can potentially be automated and made more objective by data processing analysis, but training and evaluation datasets are required. Here, we describe a dataset of 155 FHR recordings in which a reference baseline, accelerations and decelerations have been annotated by expert consensus. 66 FHR recordings with a shared expert analysis have been included in a training dataset, and 90 other FHR recordings with a non-shared expert analysis have been included in an evaluation dataset. Researchers wishing to evaluate their automatic analysis method should submit their results for comparison with the expert consensus. The dataset also contains the results produced by 11 re-coded automatic analysis methods from the literature. All the data are available at http://utsb.univ-catholille.fr/fhr-review.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0139.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Other Keywords: fetal heart rate; baseline; acceleration; deceleration; MATLAB
Online: 15 June 2019 (03:39:37 CEST)
The fetal heart rate (FHR) is a screening signal for preventing fetal hypoxia during labor. When experts analyze this signal, they have to position a baseline and then identify decelerations and accelerations. These steps can potentially be automated and made more objective by signal processing analysis. Various methods have been described in the literature but there are no open-source programs for performing these steps. The MATLAB toolbox presented here comprises a standard signal pre-processing function, 11 re-coded literature methods for fetal heart rate analysis, a signal viewer (enabling annotation by an expert) and an evaluation procedure with various criteria measuring intrarater agreement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1382.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Hematology Keywords: Fetal hemoglobin; pregnancy; glycosylated hemoglobin; HbA1C; β-HCG
Online: 19 May 2023 (05:17:09 CEST)
It is believed that fetal hemoglobin (HbF) expression in adults is largely genetically regulated. The increased expression of HbF in pregnancy has been reported in a small number of articles. Different mechanisms have been proposed, but the description of HbF expression during pregnancy remains unclear. The objectives of this study were to document HbF expression during peri and postpartum periods, confirm its maternal origin, and assess clinical and biochemical parameters potentially associated with HbF modulation. In this observational prospective study, 345 pregnant women were followed. At baseline, 169 had HbF expression (≥1% of total hemoglobin) and 176 did not have HbF expression. Women were followed at the obstetric clinic during their pregnancy. Clinical and biochemical parameters were measured at each visit. Analyses were made to determine which parameters had a significant correlation to HbF expression. Results show that HbF expression of ≥ 1% during peri and postpartum periods in pregnant women without influencing comorbidities is at its highest peak during the first trimester. In all women, it was proven that HbF was of maternal origin. A significant positive correlation between HbF expression, β-HCG, and HbA1C was present. A significant negative association between HbF expression and total hemoglobin was found. HbF expression induction during pregnancy is probably associated with increase in β-HCG and HbA1C, and decrease of total hemoglobin, which could temporarily reactivate the fetal erythropoietic system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0057.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: miscarriage; fetal loss; risk factor; ethnicity; maternal race
Online: 4 April 2019 (15:52:25 CEST)
In last decades, growing migration flows have modified the obstetric clinical care, requiring specific attention by health care systems. The aim was to describe the phenomenon focusing on miscarriage (pregnancy loss at <20 weeks). Patients admitted for care at miscarriage in a six-year period (2012-17) were revised. Miscarriage rates in all ethnic groups, dichotomized in early (within the first 12 weeks of gestation) and late (at <20 weeks) pregnancy loss. Associations between women's characteristics (age, parity, inter-pregnancy interval (IPI)) were explored to elucidate any differences. A total of 1,940 patients were included, segregated in early (n = 1769, 91.2%) and late (n = 171, 8.8%) pregnancy losses. Caucasian ethnicity was the most common (87.9%), leaving the minority groups to 12.1%. Maternal age was higher among Caucasians women than other subgroups, in contrast to Asiatic patients. Nulliparity was observed in 1045 (53.9%) patient, more widespread among Caucasian and Maghrebins. A positive obstetric history counting at least one miscarriage was frequent, ranging from 22.2% to 75%, in particular among Asiatic women, while the recurrence in Caucasians. In Afro-Carribeans the most relevant rate of late miscarriage was found. By multiple regression modelling, maternal age, nulliparity and Afro-Carribean were identified as determinants. Maternal ethnicity should be considered in the management of pregnancy losses in combination with already well-defined risk factors, including age at miscarriare and nulliparity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0374.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Diabetes; Gestational; Diagnostic Techniques; Obstetrical and Gynecological; Fetal growth acceleration; Fetal Macrosomia; Large-for-gestational-age; Obstetrics; Pregnancy Complications; Stillbirth
Online: 19 January 2021 (11:42:09 CET)
Background: Fetal overgrowth is related to many perinatal complications including stillbirth, cesarean section, maternal and neonatal injuries, and shoulder dystocia. It is related to maternal diabetes, obesity, and gestational weight gain, but also happens in low-risk pregnancies. There is ongoing discussion regarding definitions, methods of detection, and classification. The method used for detection is of crucial importance as it draws a line between those at risk and low-risk populations. Methods: In this a narrative review of relevant evidence identified through PubMed search with one of the general terms (macrosomia, large-for-gestational-age) combined with the outcome of interest. Results: This revive summarizes evidence on the relation of fetal overgrowth with stillbirth, cesarean sections, shoulder dystocia, anal sphincter injury, and hemorrhage. Customized growth charts help to detect mothers and fetuses at risk of those complications. Relations between fetal overgrowth and diabetes, maternal weight, and gestational weight gain. Conclusions: a substantial proportion of complications are an effect of the fetus growing above its potential and should be recognized as a new dangerous condition of Fetal Growth Acceleration
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0679.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: diabetes and pregnancy, ultrasound evaluation, fetal subcutaneous fat mass
Online: 11 September 2023 (13:47:25 CEST)
Pregnant women with diabetes often present impaired fetal growth, which is less common if maternal diabetes is well-controlled. However, developing strategies to estimate fetal body composition beyond fetal growth that could better predict metabolic complications later in life is essential. This study aimed to evaluate subcutaneous fat tissue (femur and humerus) in fetuses with normal growth among pregnant women with well-controlled diabetes using a reproducible 3D-ultrasound tool and offline TUI (Tomographic Ultrasound Imaging) analysis. Additionally, three artificial intelligence classifier models were trained and validated to assess the clinical utility of the fetal subcutaneous fat measurement. A significantly larger subcutaneous fat area was found in three-femur and two-humerus selected segments of fetuses from women with diabetes compared to the healthy pregnant control group. The full classifier model that includes subcutaneous fat measure, gestational age, fetal weight, fetal abdominal circumference, maternal body mass index, and fetal weight percentile as variables, showed the best performance, with a detection rate of 70%, considering a false positive rate of 10%, and a positive predictive value of 82%. These findings provide valuable insights into the impact of maternal diabetes on fetal subcutaneous fat tissue as a variable independent of fetal growth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0066.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: dyslipidemia; fetal programing; lipid metabolism; NAFLD; persistent organic pollutants
Online: 3 September 2021 (13:56:53 CEST)
Animal studies have shown that developmental exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) permanently affect blood/liver balance of lipids. No human study has evaluated associations between in utero exposures to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and later life lipid metabolism. In this pilot, maternal plasma levels of PBDEs (BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, and BDE-153) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB-138, PCB-153, and PCB-180) were determined at delivery in participants of GESTation and Environment (GESTE) cohort. Total cholesterol (TCh), triglycerides (TG), low and high density lipoproteins (LDL-C and HDL-C), total lipids (TL), and PBDEs were determined in serum of 147 children at ages 6-7. General linear regression was used to estimate the relationship between maternal POPs and child lipid levels with adjustment for potential confounders, and adjustment for childhood POPs. In utero BDE-99 was associated with lower childhood levels of TG (p=0.003), and non-significantly with HDL-C (p=0.06) and TL (p=0.07). Maternal PCB-138 was associated with lower childhood levels of TG (p=0.04), LDL-C (p=0.04), and TL (p=0.02). Our data indicate that in-utero exposures to POPs may be associated with long-lasting decrease in circulating lipids in children, suggesting increased lipid accumulation in the liver, a mechanism involved in NAFLD development, consistent with previously reported animal data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0023.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: FGR; fetal programming; food restriction; metabolic disorders; liver proteomics
Online: 1 March 2021 (13:54:56 CET)
1) Background: Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) has been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and epigenetic modifications that impact gene expression leading to permanent changes of fetal metabolic pathways and thereby influence development of disease in childhood and adult life. Both clinical and experimental studies showed that maternal nutrition during pregnancy is critical since malnutrition adversely affects fetal growth and physiology. In this study, we investigated the result of maternal food restriction on liver protein expression in Wistar male newborn pups. (2) Materials & methods: Pups born to food restricted mothers were subdivided to FGR and non-FGR groups. Livers of control, FGR and non-FGR groups were analyzed using quantitative proteomics. (3) Results: In total 6665 proteins were profiled. Of these, 451 and 751 were differentially expressed in FGR and non-FGR vs. control respectively, whereas 229 were common between the two groups. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) in FGR vs. control revealed: induction of the super-pathway of cholesterol biosynthesis and inhibition of thyroid hormone metabolism, fatty acid beta oxidation and apelin liver signaling pathway. In the DEPs of non-FGR vs. control groups there was inhibition of thyroid hormone metabolism, fatty acid beta oxidation and apelin liver signaling pathway as well. (4) Conclusion: This study demonstrates the impact of prenatal food restriction on the proteomic liver profile of FGR and non-FGR offspring underlying the importance of both prenatal adversities and birth weight on liver dependent postnatal disease.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Sickle cell disease; genetic disorder; fetal hemoglobin; hemoglobinopathy; Tanzania
Online: 20 September 2019 (11:47:39 CEST)
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a blood disorder caused by a point mutation on the beta globin gene resulting in the synthesis of abnormal hemoglobin. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) reduces disease severity, but the levels vary from one individual to another. Most research has focused on common variants which differ across populations and hence do not fully account for HbF variation. To investigate rare and common variants influencing HbF levels in SCD, we performed targeted next generation sequencing covering exonic and other significant fetal hemoglobin-associated loci, including BCL11A, MYB, HOXA9, HBB, HBG1, HBG2, CHD4, KLF1, MBD3, ZBTB7A and PGLYRP1. Results revealed a range of functionally relevant genetic variants. Notably, there were significantly more deletions in individuals with high HbF levels (11% vs 0.9%). We identified frameshift deletion in individuals with high HbF levels and frameshift insertions in individuals with low HbF. CHD4 and MBD3 genes, interacting in the same sub-network, were identified to have a significant number of pathogenic or non-synonymous mutations in individuals with low HbF levels, suggesting an important role of epigenetic pathways in the regulation of HbF synthesis. This study provides new insights in selecting essential variants associated with extreme HbF levels in SCD.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; melatonin; fetal development; neuroprotection; circadian rhythm
Online: 17 December 2017 (08:41:18 CET)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to the diverse range of neurodevelopmental disorders accompanying impairments in social interaction, difficulties in communication, and stereotyped or repetitive behaviors. Unlike the older term, autism, the newer term, ASD, better reflects the broad range of autistic symptoms and denotes a single diagnostic category of autism accompanied by numerous conditions. The pineal hormone melatonin is a well-known neuroprotectant and circadian entrainer. This hormone crosses the placenta and enters the fetal circulation, then conveys photoperiodic information to the fetus during pregnancy. These actions enable normal sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, followed by normal neurodevelopment. Melatonin also reduces oxidative stress, which is harmful to the central nervous system. Therefore, melatonin acts as a neuroprotectant and circadian entrainer, and may reduce the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0232.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Stunting; fetal growth; maternal mentoring; maternal and child health; Indonesia
Online: 11 October 2023 (12:26:16 CEST)
The prevalence of stunting in young Indonesian children is the highest among Southeast Asian Nations, and is associated with poor growth during the prenatal and early postnatal periods. A maternal mentoring program was developed for Indonesian women to improve birth outcomes. A cluster randomized control trial (CRCT) was conducted in three sub-districts of the Special Re-gion of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A total of 384 eligible participants were randomly allocated to either intervention (received maternal mentoring program and standard care; n=189) or control (received standard care only; n=195). The maternal mentoring program provided preconception health education; health monitoring; and text message reminders for preconception women. Fetal growth was measured between gestational weeks 27-30 using estimated fetal weight generated from ultrasonographic measurement. Birth weight was measured within 24 hours of birth. A structured questionnaire captured women’s’ demographics, pregnancy readiness, and body mass index (BMI. After adjustment, fetal weight was 14% (95% CI: 5.1-23.0) higher in the intervention group than in the control group, and the average weight-for-length Z-score at birth was 0.16 (95% CI: 004-0.30) higher in the intervention group than in the control group. A maternal mentoring program was associated with improved fetal growth and birth weight in this population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0170.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: β-thalassemia; autophagy; fetal hemoglobin; α-globin; rapamycin; sirolimus; ULK1
Online: 4 September 2023 (10:43:35 CEST)
The β-thalassemias are hereditary monogenic diseases characterized by low or absent production of adult hemoglobin and excess in the content of α-globin. This excess is cytotoxic for the erythroid cells and responsible of the β-thalassemia associated ineffective erythropoiesis. Therefore, the decrease of α-globin excess is a relevant clinical effect for these patients and can be obtained by induction of fetal hemoglobin, by autophagy, or both. The in vivo effects of sirolimus (rapamycin) and analogues on induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) is of key importance for therapeutic protocols in a variety of hemoglobinopathies, including β-thalassemia. In this research communication, we report data showing that decrease of autophagy-associated p62 protein, increased expression of ULK-1 and reduction of the excess of α-globin is operating in erythroid precursors (ErPCs) stimulated in vitro with low dosages of sirolimus. In addition, increased ULK-1 mRNA content and decrease of α-globin content were found in ErPCs isolated from β-thalassemia patients recruited for the NCT03877809 clinical trial and treated with 0.5-2 mg/day sirolimus. Our data support the concept that autophagy, ULK1 expression and α-globin chain reduction should be considered important endpoints in sirolimus-based clinical trials for β-thalassemia.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0759.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: fetal development; gut-brain axis (GBA); maternal gut bacteria; placenta
Online: 12 July 2023 (03:58:47 CEST)
Gut microbiota plays a critical role in physiological regulation throughout life and is specifically modified to meet the demands of individual life stages and during pregnancy. Maternal gut microbiota is uniquely adapted to the pregnancy demands of the mother and the developing fetus. Both animal studies in pregnant germ-free rodents and human studies have supported a critical association between the composition of maternal microbiota during pregnancy and fetal development. Gut microbiota may also contribute to the development of the fetal gut-brain axis (GBA), which is increasingly recognized for its critical role in health and disease. Most studies consider birth as the time of GBA activation and focus on postnatal GBA development. This review focuses on GBA development during the prenatal period and the impact of maternal gut microbiota on fetal GBA development. It is hypothesized that adaptation of maternal gut microbiota to pregnancy is critical for the GBA prenatal development and maturation of GBA postnatally. Consequently, factors affecting maternal gut microbiota during pregnancy, such as maternal obesity, diet, stress and depression, infection, and medication, also affect fetal GBA development and are critical for GBA activity postnatally. Altered maternal gut microbiota during gestation has been shown to have long-term impact postnatally and multigenerational effects. Thus, understanding the impact of maternal gut microbiota during pregnancy on fetal GBA development is crucial for managing fetal, neonatal, and adult health, and should be included among public health priorities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0193.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Tolerana®; Pregnancy; Fetal-Maternal Recognition; Reproduction; Reproductive Safety Toxicology
Online: 13 May 2022 (15:14:42 CEST)
As recommended in the ICH Guidelines (S5-R2 and S6-R1), and based on bioethical concerns, we chose bovine embryos (BE) to check the in vitro embryo development considering the use of different amounts of rHGAL-1 as supplementations of in vitro embryo culture (IVP) mediums. Based on procedures for commercial BE in vitro production, using oocytes aspirated from slaughterhouse ovaries, the rHGAL-1 supplementation performed in two experiments (#01 on the oocyte maturation - IVM medium supplemented and experiment #2 on culture step IVC, supplemented SOF medium). There were IVP commercial procedures done, with 3 IVP batches per experiment and distributed the oocytes in four groups of treatment (one control group and three different dosages of rHGAL-1 to supplement both IVM and SOF mediums, using (2, 20 and 40µg.mL-1 respectively). A total of 962 (experiment 1) and 1,213 (experiment 2) oocytes were aspirated and submitted to IVP procedure. There was no damage to in vitro bovine embryos growth, considering cleavage percentage (%CLE), blastocysts development on day 7 (BlD7, BxD7, BhD7), or hatching blastocysts maturation on day 8 (BhD8%), regardless of rHGAL-1 supplementation. The immunohistochemistry assay with D8 embryos cultivated with rHGAL-1 supplementation on the culture medium (SOF medium) could demonstrate the presence of exogenous GAL-1, distributed in mass cell and trophoblastic cells, and the profile observed is dependent of exogenous supplementation and it was more evident in hatched embryos. The findings reassure the use of a reasonable amount of rHGAL-1 for in vitro embryonic development and make using rHGAL-1 in assisted reproduction in humans more reliable and safer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0212.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: fetal weight estimation; regression model; ultrasound measures; expectation maximization algorithm
Online: 26 March 2018 (09:59:51 CEST)
Fetal weight estimation before delivery is important in obstetrics, which assists doctors diagnose abnormal or diseased cases. Linear regression based on ultrasound measures such as bi-parietal diameter (bpd), head circumference (hc), abdominal circumference (ac), and fetal length (fl) is common statistical method for weight estimation but the regression model requires that time points of collecting such measures must not be too far from last ultrasound scans. Therefore this research proposes a method of early weight estimation based on expectation maximization (EM) algorithm so that ultrasound measures can be taken at any time points in gestational period. In other words, gestational sample can lack some or many fetus weights, which gives facilities to practitioners because practitioners need not concern fetus weights when taking ultrasound examinations. The proposed method is called dual regression expectation maximization (DREM) algorithm. Experimental results indicate that accuracy of DREM decreases insignificantly when completion of ultrasound sample decreases significantly. So it is proved that DREM withstands missing values in incomplete sample or sparse sample.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0079.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: autism; sleep; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders; nightmares; anxiety; executive function; behaviour
Online: 3 August 2021 (13:07:06 CEST)
Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience significantly higher rates of sleep disturbances than their typically developing peers. Pre-sleep anxiety and waking emotional content is known to affect the content and frequency of nightmares, which can be distressing to children and caregivers. This is the first study to analyse nightmare frequency and content in FASD, and to assess its association with psychometric outcomes. We assessed reports from 277 caregivers of children with ASD (n=61), FASD (n=112), and TD children (n=104) using the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the Behavior Rating Inventory for Executive Functioning (BRIEF). Within the ASD group, 40.3% of caregivers reported their children had nightmares. Within the FASD group, 73.62% of caregivers reported their children had nightmares and within the TD group, 21.36% of caregivers reported their children had nightmares. Correlation analysis revealed significant associations between anxiety and nightmares, maladaptive behaviour and nightmares, and executive functioning and nightmares in the TD and FASD groups, but not ASD group. This paper adds to the emerging body of work supporting the need for sleep interventions as part of clinical practice with regard to children with ASD and FASD. As a relatively niche but important area of study this warrants much needed further research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0819.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Preeclampsia; Fetal growth restriction; sFlt-1; Inhibin-A; Placental growth factor
Online: 31 December 2020 (14:23:21 CET)
Objective: We previously provided evidence to confirm that soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), placental growth factor (PlGF), and their ratio, are useful tools to direct the management of preeclampsia (PE), fetal growth restriction (FGR), and PE+FGR near delivery. In this study we examine the potential additive value of Inhibin-A, a hormone marker of the transforming growth factor family. Methods: We used a cohort of 125 pregnant women enrolled near delivery at clinics of the University Medical Center of Ljubljana, Slovenia. There were 31 cases of PE, 16 of FGR, 42 of PE+FGR, 15 iatrogenic preterm delivery (PTD), and 21 unaffected controls with delivery of a healthy baby at term. Cases delivered before 34 weeks’ gestation included 13 of PE, 12 of FGR, 22 of PE+FGR, and 6 of PTD. We recorded demographic characteristics and medical history and the levels of PlGF, sFlt-1 and Inhibin-A. The predictive accuracy of each biomarker, their ratios, and combinations was estimated from areas under the curve (AUC) of Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curves. We estimated accuracy by the continuous marker model and a cut-off model. Results: Combining Inhibin-A with PlGF or with the sFlt-1 / PlGF ratio showed a 10-20% increase in AUCs and 5-15% increase in the detection rate, at 10% false positive rate, of PE, and a lower, but significant, increase for PE+FGR but not for FGR alone. The use of a cut-off model was adequate, although a bit higher accuracy was obtained from the continuous model. Highest correlation was found for PlGF with all three complications. Conclusion: Inhibin-A improves the accuracy of predicting PE and PE+FGR provided by the angiogenic markers alone, bringing the results to a diagnostic level, thus assisting in directing clinical management. Inhibin-A had no added value for the accuracy of predicting FGR alone.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0370.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: alcohol; drugs of abuse; pregnancy; maternal nutrition; fetal nutrition; FASD; IUGR
Online: 25 June 2018 (05:57:21 CEST)
The consumption of alcohol and drugs of abuse among pregnant women has experienced a significant increase in the last decades. Optimal maternal nutritional status is of great importance for proper fetal development, yet is often altered with alcohol or drugs consumption. There is a lack of information on the effects of alcohol and drugs on maternal nutritional status, so the focus of this review was to provide an overview on nutrional status of mother and fetus in abusers pregnant women. Alcohol and drugs consumption can adversely affect the quality and quantity of proper nutrient supply and energy intake, resulting in malnutrition especially of micronutrients (vitamins, omega-3, folic acid, zinc, choline, iron, copper, selenium). When maternal nutritional status is compromised by alcohol and drugs essential nutrients are not available for the fetus, this can result in suboptimal outcomes like Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It is critical to determine a means to resolve and reduce the physical and neurological malformations that develop in the fetus as a result of prenatal alcohol and drugs exposure combined with poor maternal nutrition. Prenatal nutrition interventions are required that may prevent or alleviate the development of such abnormalities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0131.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Mathematical And Computational Biology Keywords: fetal heart rate; maternal heart rate; cardiotocogram; gated recurrent unit; deep learning
Online: 22 July 2022 (03:08:59 CEST)
We have developed deep learning models for automatic identification of the maternal heart rate (MHR) and, more generally, false signals (FSs) on fetal heart rate (FHR) recordings. The models can be used to preprocess FHR data prior to automated analysis or as a clinical alert system to assist the practitioner. Three models were developed and used to detect (i) FSs on the MHR channel (the FSMHR model), (ii) the MHR and FSs on the Doppler FHR sensor (the FSDop model), and (iii) FSs on the scalp ECG channel (the FSScalp model). The FSDop model was the most useful because FSs are far more frequent on the Doppler FHR channel. All three models were based on a multilayer, symmetric, GRU and were trained on data recorded during the first and second stages of delivery. The FSMHR and FSDop models were also trained on antepartum recordings. The training dataset contained 1030 expert-annotated periods (mean duration: 36 min) from 635 recordings. In an initial evaluation of routine clinical practice, 30 fully annotated recordings for each sensor type (mean duration: 5 h for MHR and Doppler sensors, and 3 h for the scalp ECG sensor) were analyzed. The sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV) and accuracy were respectively 62.20%, 87.1% and 99.90% for the FSMHR model, 93.1%, 95.6% and 99.68% for the FSDop model, and 44.6%, 87.2% and 99.93% for the FSScalp model. We built a second test dataset with a more solid ground truth by selecting 45 periods (lasting 20 min, on average) on which the Doppler FHR and scalp ECG signals were recorded simultaneously. Using scalp ECG data, the experts estimated the true FHR value more reliably and thus annotated the Doppler FHR channel more precisely. The models achieved a sensitivity of 53.3%, a PPV of 62.4%, and an accuracy of 97.29%. In comparison, two experts (blinded to the scalp ECG data) respectively achieved a sensitivity of 15.7%, a PPV of 74.3%, and an accuracy of 96.91% and a sensitivity of 60.7%, a PPV of 83.5% and an accuracy of 98.24%. Hence, the models performed at expert level (better than one expert and worse than the other), although a well-trained expert with good knowledge of FSs could probably do better in some cases. The models and datasets have been included in the Fetal Heart Rate Morphological Analysis open-source MATLAB toolbox and can be used freely for research purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0102.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: lncRNA; LINC00961; SPAAR; scRNASeq; CRISPR/Cas9; cardiovascular physiology; fetal growth restriction; myocardial infarction
Online: 5 October 2020 (17:47:46 CEST)
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have structural and functional roles in development and disease. We have previously shown that the LINC00961/SPAAR locus regulates endothelial cell function, and that both the lncRNA and micropeptide counter-regulate angiogenesis. To assess human cardiac cell SPAAR expression we mined a publicly available scRNSeq dataset and confirmed LINC00961 locus expression and hypoxic response in a murine endothelial cell line. We investigated post-natal growth and development, basal cardiac function, the cardiac functional response and tissue-specific response to myocardial infarction. To investigate the contribution of the LINC00961/SPAAR locus to determination of longitudinal growth, cardiac function, and response to myocardial infarction, we used a novel CRISPR/Cas9 locus knockout mouse line. Data mining suggested that SPAAR is predominantly expressed in human cardiac endothelial cells and fibroblasts, while murine LINC00961 expression is hypoxia-responsive in mouse endothelial cells. LINC00961-/- mice displayed a sex-specific delay in longitudinal growth and development, smaller left ventricular systolic and diastolic areas and volumes, and greater risk area following myocardial infarction compared with wildtype littermates. These data suggest a role for the LINC00961/SPAAR locus in cardiac endothelial cell and fibroblast cell function and hypoxic-response, and in growth and development, and basal cardiovascular function in adulthood.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Flos chrysanthemum; Bud Chrysanthemum; Fetal Chrysanthemum; Hongxinju; GC-MS based metabolomics; violate components
Online: 13 February 2019 (13:08:09 CET)
Hang-ju was one of five officinal varieties of Flos chrysanthemum for its edible and potable usage. Besides Flos Chrysanthemum (FL), there were also Bud Chrysanthemum (BC) and Fetal Chrysanthemum (FC) at the early and late stage of buds, respectively, in the consumption market of Hang-ju with higher prices. Whether the quality and efficiency of BC and FC was superior to FL or merely consumption misunderstandings? Three commercial products of Hongxinju, a representive cultivar of Hang-ju were studied with a GC-MS based metabolomics approach, complemented with morphology, contents of moisture and protein and the anti-oxidant activity, to reveal the metabolic alterations of violate components in Hongxinju in different flowering stage and at different processing periods. It revealed that most of the violate components were increased from fresh FC to FL, and the low-boiling fractions, inflammatory methyl arachidonate and air-polluting component of ethylbenzene were declined while the representative components with pungent flavor and cool nature of a-curcumene and (Z,Z,Z)-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid, vision improving carotenol of rhodopin and high-boiling fractions were elevated after processed in final FL compared with that in BC and/or FC. Though the content of protein and anti-oxidative capacity of final BC and FC were nearly equal to those of FL, in comprehensive consideration of the representative components related with the efficiency in heat cooling and vision improving, as well as the representative components related with inflammation and air-pollution, final FL was recommended other than BC and FC in the practice of medicine with the yield and quality integrated into account.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2030.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Cell And Developmental Biology Keywords: Angiogenesis; blood vessels; endothelial cells; fetal cells; Flk1; migration; placenta; pregnancy; trophoblast; vasculogenesis; VEGF; VEGFR2
Online: 29 September 2023 (04:40:03 CEST)
Pregnancy entails bidirectional interactions between the developing fetus, the maternal tissues, and the organ systems. To this end, the phenomenon of migration of fetal cells (FCs) into the maternal circulation is poorly understood. Here, we review literature underlying the migration of FCs from the placenta to the maternal circulation, which is likely a dynamic process, including trophoblast invasion, placental angiogenesis, modulation of maternal immune responses, and enlargement of maternal organs. As placental neovascularization fosters direct connections between fetal and maternal circulatory systems, the trophoblast, a pivotal to placental development, adeptly deploys an array of invasive strategies to breach maternal tissue barriers, facilitating FC escapade into the maternal circulation. The intricate balance struck by the maternal immune system, which both acts as a guardian against potential foreign cell threats and orchestrates a niche conducive to FC survival and differentiation, is facilitated by finely tuned interactions among regulatory T cells, cytokines, and inhibitory receptors. FC presence in mothers’ circulation may be clinically relevant and unveil novel molecular participants like lncRNA, exosomes, and intricate signaling pathways that drive innovative clinical approaches for diagnostics and therapeutics. Ongoing research should reshape our knowledge of pregnancy and maternal-fetal health by improving our understanding of fetal-maternal interactions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0602.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: epigenetic mechanisms of disease; fetal programming; obstructive sleep apnea; DNA methylation; histone modifications; chronic disease
Online: 27 July 2021 (11:45:08 CEST)
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has significant negative effects on health and behavior in childhood including depression, failure to thrive, neurocognitive impairment, and behavioral issues. It is strongly associated with an increased risk for chronic adult disease such as obesity and diabetes, accelerated atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction. Accumulating evidence suggests that adult-onset non-communicable diseases may originate from early life through a process by which an insult applied at a critical developmental window causes long-term effects on the structure or function of an organism. Recently, much attention has been paid to the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of adult disease susceptibility. Epigenetic mechanisms that influence adaptive variability include histone modifications, non-coding RNAs, and DNA methylation. This review will highlight what is currently known about the phenotypic associations of epigenetic modifications in pediatric OSA and will emphasize the importance of epigenetic changes as both modulators of chronic disease and potential therapeutic targets.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0474.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: prenatal infection; virome; viral antibody; VirScan; ViroCap; maternal viral infection; viral protein; GBV-C; placenta; fetal viral infection
Online: 29 August 2022 (08:07:37 CEST)
Human pegivirus (HPgV) is best known for persistent, presumably non-pathogenic, infection and a propensity to co-infect with human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis C virus. However, unique at-tributes, such as the increased risk of malignancy or immune modulation, have been recently recognized for HPgV. We have identified a unique case of a woman with high levels HPgV infection in two preg-nancies, which occurred 4 years apart, without evidence of human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis C virus infection. The second pregnancy was complicated by congenital heart disease. A high level of HPgV infection was detected in maternal blood from different trimesters by RT-PCR and identified as HPgV type 1 genotype 2 in both pregnancies. In the second pregnancy, the decidua and intervillous tissue of the placenta were positive for HPgV by PCR but not the chorion or cord blood (from both pregnancies), suggesting no vertical transmission despite high levels of viremia. The HPgV genome sequence was remarkably conserved over the 4 years. Using VirScan, sera antibodies for HPgV were detected in the first trimester of both pregnancies. We observed the same anti-HPgV antibodies against the non-structural NS5 protein in both pregnancies, suggesting a similar non-E2 protein humoral immune response over time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of persistent HPgV infection involving placental tissues with no evidence of vertical transmission. Our results reveal a more elaborate viral-host interaction than previously reported, expand our knowledge about tropism, and opens avenues for exploring the replication sites of this virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0231.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: breeding strategy; dark-light cycles; dead co-twin; early fetal loss; selection index; spontaneous twin reduction; standardized transmitting ability
Online: 4 May 2023 (08:20:36 CEST)
Twin pregnancies are highly undesirable in dairy cattle; they compromise the health and wellbeing of a cow, and its incidence dramatically impairs the farm economy. Recently, a genomic prediction for twin pregnancies has been developed. The objective of this study was to assess cow, environmental and management risk factors affecting the incidence of twin pregnancies in high-producing dairy cows in their first lactation, with special emphasis placed on the genomic prediction values for twin pregnancy. Our study population of primiparous cows proved valuable in identifying factors other than genomic predictive values influencing the twin pregnancy rate. The odds ratio for twin pregnancy was 0.85 (p <0.0001) for each unit of a prediction value increase, 3.5 (p = 0.023) for cows becoming pregnant during the negative photoperiod, and 0.33 (p = 0.016) for cows producing ≥42 kg of milk at AI, compared to the remaining cows producing <42kg of milk. As a general conclusion, the practical implication of our findings is that genomic prediction values can identify the risk of twin pregnancy at herd level. Given the cumulative effect of genomic selection, selecting for animals with reduced genetic risk of twin pregnancies can contribute to reduce its incidence in dairy herds.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0190.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: maternal infection; fetal neurodevelopmental delays; neuroimmunology; innate immunity; adap-tive immunity; interferon; natural lymphocyte; adaptive lymphocyte; neuroprotection; neurogen-esis
Online: 12 December 2022 (04:04:15 CET)
Maternal infectious disease may pose considerable challenges to the fetal health due to the distribution of important elements of the sanguine and lymphatic system from the mother via the umbilical cord. The mother and the fetus have a degree of interdependence that is similar to the one between the eukaryotic cell and the mitochondrion, particularly during the first half term of the pregnancy, which explains the increased appetite of the expecting mother during the first stages of the fetal development. There is a solid bridge between the adaptive immune system and the encephalon that was only discovered a few decades ago. As a result, scientists may still be in the introductory stages of research, and there might be a significant and profound degree of association between the immune system and a healthy neurological development. There is a significant link between the onset of significant maternal infectious disease and the onset of neurodevelopmental disease in the fetus, and virtually all immune cells play major roles in the promotion and inhibition of neurogenesis alike. Likewise, there is a probability that maternal infectious diseases during pregnancy represent a risk factor of fetal neurodevelopmental disease, as a pressurised development of the adaptive immune memory could result in a pressurised or inhibited neurological development, which both can result in a delayed development of certain sub-regions of the brain. For example, the fetus may display poorer social abilities and sharp analytical skills later in life, which is an important sign of neurodevelopmental disease. A pressurised development of the adaptive immune memory could not require the development of a significant form of disease, but rather just a sharp rate of immune preparation against several important pathogenic agents during the introductory stages of life, when the encephalon experiences the sharpest increase rate in development. The problem per se is not the process of immunisation, but a much sharper process of immunisation over the first stages of life in case of an exposure to one dangerous pathogen or more numerous kinds of pathogens and antigens that normally cause moderate disease morbidity. The more dangerous the microbe is, the sharper the development of the adaptive immune memory will be, and the same happens in the case of an increased number of infectious microbes and antigens that infected the cells of the mothers and the fetuses in cause, and this may, in the majority of the situations, still be the case even if the pathogens are already significantly weakened or lifeless, given that the gain of adaptive immune memory alone constitutes an important factor of neurogenesis and an increased rate of neurological development, and that the infant will become almost or fully protected against the pathogens in cause, despite not having had experienced the disease beforehand. In this case, neurodevelopmental delays are possibly not caused by an impaired neurogenesis, but by an excessive one, whilst maternal infection-associated neurodevelopmental delays may be caused by an impaired neurogenesis. Nevertheless, the aetiology of immunity-related neurodevelopmental delays may be more complex in nature and implicate a chronological and spatial sequence of induced excedentary and deficitary rates of neurogenesis, hence reflecting the incredibly complex nature and various forms of neurodevelopmental disease. It is important to mention that a single dose of infant immunisation brings significantly lower risks of adverse neurological events than the onset of a significant maternal infectious disease during pregnancy. The objective of paediatric neuro-immunological studies may be to improve the understanding of the association between a healthy immune developmental rate and a balanced ratio of the developmental rates of important brain regions and sub-regions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1281.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: FEVR; Norrie Disease; Persistent Fetal Vascular Syndrome; Norrin; FZD4; LRP5; TSPAN12; ZNF408; KIF11; CTNNA1, CTNND1, EMC1; retinal endothelial cell; retinal vasculature; blood-brain-barrier; genetic disease mechanisms
Online: 23 October 2023 (16:12:29 CEST)
Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), Norrie disease, and persistent fetal vascular syndrome (PFVS) are extremely rare retinopathies that are clinically distinct but are unified by abnormal retinal endothelial cell function – and subsequent irregular retinal vascular development and/or aberrant inner blood-retinal-barrier (iBRB) function. The early angiogenesis of the retina and its iBRB is a delicate process that is mediated by the canonical Norrin Wnt-signaling pathway in retinal endothelial cells. Pathogenic variants in genes that play key roles within this pathway such as NDP, FZD4, TSPAN12, and LRP5, have been associated with the incidence of these retinal diseases. Recent efforts to further elucidate the etiology of these conditions have not only highlighted their multigenic nature but have also resulted in the discovery of pathological variants in additional genes such as CTNNB1, KIF11, and ZNF408, some of which operate outside of the Norrin Wnt-signaling pathway. Recent discoveries of FEVR-linked variants in two other Catenin genes (CTNND1, CTNNA1) and the Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane Complex Subunit-1 gene (EMC1) suggest that we will continue to find additional genes that impact the neural retinal vasculature, especially in multi-syndromic conditions. The goals of this review are to briefly highlight the current understanding of the roles of their encoded proteins in retinal endothelial cells to understand the essential functional mechanisms that can be altered to cause these very rare pediatric retinal vascular diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1613.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Immune response; Maternal-fetal IgG transference; Antibody Functionality; Antibody persistence; IFN-Y and IL-4 secretion; Receptor Binding Domain (RBD); Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV); Saponin; Dioctadecyldimethylammonium Bromide (DDA); ELISpot
Online: 25 September 2023 (04:39:59 CEST)
This study continued the analysis of immunization with the receptor binding domain (RBD) associated with the adjuvants Dimethyldioctadecylammonium bromide (DDA) and Saponin (Sap) (RBD+DDA/Sap) or Aluminum hydroxide (AH) and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of Neisseria meningitidis (RBD+AH/OMV); from adult to old age and assessed maternal-fetal transference of antibodies. Outbred Swiss mice were immunized with 2 intramuscular (IM) doses with the antigenic preparations RBD+DDA/Sap, RBD+AH/OMV or RBD alone. The humoral immune response was evaluated using ELISA, avidity-ELISA, Immunoblotting and a Omicron-surrogate-neutralization assay (BA.1), while the cellular immune response was analyzed by ELISpot. Our previous work studied the IgG response; here, we verified that IgM levels were higher right after the immunization doses, but, as IgG, it persisted until 368 days after the immunization. The avidity of IgM increased from low to intermediate-to-high after the booster dose. RBD+DDA/Sap presented neutralizing indexes against Omicron at days 47 and 176, while RBD+AH/OMV showed neutralization on days 21, 47 and 176. Cellular response, measured 465 days after immunization, revealed IFN-Y and IL-4 secretion. The offspring of RBD+DDA/Sap had detectable antibodies, which decreased around 45 days after birth, the last point we analyzed. The results suggested that DDA/Sap is a promising adjuvant mixture to enhance humoral and cellular immune response against SARS-CoV-2, improving maternal-fetal transference of antibodies; cross-reactivity with Omicron variant; and the maintenance of antibodies for a long period.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0372.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Endometriosis; microchimerism; maternal microchimerism; reproduction; gynaecology; etiology; auto-immune; immune response; hormonal; vascular; genetic; hereditary; male; fetal; fetus; stem cells; pregnancy; Műllerianosis; embryology; ROS; apoptosis; disease; endometrium; basalis; menstruation; post-menopausal; neurogenesis
Online: 22 September 2021 (10:27:52 CEST)
Endometriosis is an oestrogen-dependant reproductive disease, with genetic, vascular, neural, inflammatory and auto-immune characteristics. There are many theories about the etiology of endometriosis, however, all of these theories have limitations and do not explain all the locations that endometriosis is found or types of patients with endometriosis. The objective of this paper is to postulate the hypothesis that endometriosis is caused by Maternal Microchimerism, the presence of maternal cells in the fetus. A literature review was conducted, analysing the characteristics, current etiological theories of endometriosis, theory limitations and relationship of maternal microchimerism and endometriosis. At time of writing, there was no literature on maternal microchimerism and endometriosis. These results suggest that Maternal Microchimerism could be a cause of endometriosis. This could account for the genetic and auto-immune characteristics seen in people with endometriosis, inducing a micro-environment for vascular, neural and epigenetic changes. This could also account for account for endometriosis seen in non-menstruating patients, such as men, fetuses and post-menopausal women and endometriosis found in non-peritoneal locations. If the hypothesis of Maternal Microchimerism is correct, endometriosis could be considered a pregnancy-related disease that could affect all humans, changing the accepted demographics of patients and potentially new diagnostic techniques and treatment options for patients with endometriosis. Further studies are needed to test this hypothesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0185.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), Karyotype, array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), amniotic fluid (AF), chorionic villus sampling (CVS), aneuploidies, pathogenic copy number variants (pCNV), confined placental mosaicism (CPM), true fetal mosaicism (TFM), pseudo-mosaicism.
Online: 17 December 2018 (09:58:43 CET)
Current prenatal genetic evaluation showed a significantly increase in non-invasive screening and the reduction of invasive diagnostic procedures. To evaluate the diagnostic efficacy on detecting common aneuploidies, structural chromosomal rearrangements and pathogenic copy number variants (pCNV), we performed a retrospective analysis on a case series initially analyzed by aneuvysion fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and karyotyping then followed by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Of the 386 cases retrieved from the past decade, common aneuploidies were detected in 137 cases (35.5%), other chromosomal structural rearrangements were detected in four cases (1%), and pCNV were detected in five cases (1.3%). The relative frequencies for common aneuploidies suggested a under detection of sex chromosome aneuploidies. Approximately 9.5% of cases with common aneuploidies showed a mosaic pattern. Inconsistent results between FISH and karyotyping were noted in cases with pseudo-mosaicism introduced by culture artifact or variable cellular proliferation from cells with mosaic karyotypic complements under in vitro cell culture. Based on findings from this case series, cell-based FISH and karyotyping should be performed to detect common aneuploidies, structural chromosomal abnormalities, and mosaic pattern. DNA-based aCGH and reflex FISH should be performed to detect and confirm genomic imbalances and pCNV. Practice points to ensure the diagnostic accuracy and efficacy were summarized.