Genomic biomarkers of prenatal intrauterine inflammation in umbilical cord tissue predict later life neurological outcomes

Sloane K Tilley, Robert M Joseph, Karl C K Kuban, Olaf U Dammann, T Michael O’Shea, Rebecca C Fry

PLoS One. 2017 May 11;12(5):e0176953.

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BACKGROUND: Aim to identify genomic biomarkers of IU inflammation in umbilical cord tissue in preterm infants that predict cognitive impairment at 10 years of age. RESULTS / CONCLUSION: Placental indicators of inflammation associated with changes in mRNA expression of 445 genes in umbilical cord. Prenatal intrauterine inflammation is associated with altered gene expression that encode for proteins involved in neuronal umbilical cord tissue. A set of six of the differentially expressed genes predict cognitive impairment later in life, suggesting that the fetal environment is associated with significant adverse effects on neurodevelopment that persist into later childhood.