Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Placenta
Pregnancy is one of the greatest physiological challenges that a women can experience. The physiological adaptations that accompany pregnancy may increase the risk of developing a number of disorders that can lead to both acute and chronic physiological outcomes. In addition, fetal development may be impaired and, if the fetus survives, the child may be at an increased risk of disease throughout life. Pregnancy disorders are poorly predicted by traditional risk factors and maternal history alone. The identification of biomarkers that can predict incidence and severity of disease would allow for improved and targeted prophylactic therapies to prevent adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Many of these pregnancy disorders, including preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes mellitus and preterm birth are known to be regulated at least in part by poor trophoblast invasion and/or dysregulated placental function. Cellular stress within the placenta increases the release of a number of factors into the maternal circulation. While many of these factors minimally impact maternal biology, others affect key physiological systems and contribute to disease. Importantly, these factors may be detected in physiological fluids and have predicative capacity making them ideal candidates as biomarkers of pregnancy disorders. This review will discuss what is known about these placental derived biomarkers of pregnancy disorders and highlight potential clinical opportunities for disease prediction and diagnosis.