Breaking News
July 16, 2018 - New non-invasive procedure to reposition kidney stones could benefit astronauts
July 16, 2018 - Attending Surgeon Influences Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer
July 16, 2018 - Medical doctors with addictions fear professional repercussions if they seek treatment
July 16, 2018 - 5 Questions: John Ioannidis calls for more rigorous nutrition research | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Researchers solve mystery of final blood group system
July 16, 2018 - Traumatic brain injury biomarker could help predict patient prognosis
July 16, 2018 - Researchers to investigate role of hormones in mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production
July 16, 2018 - AHA: Doctor Makes Lifesaving House Call in His Own Home
July 16, 2018 - Nearsightedness – Genetics Home Reference
July 16, 2018 - Study shows biomarker panel boosts lung cancer risk assessment for smokers
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find link between bereavement during pregnancy, child’s mental health | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Legalizing same-sex marriage has meaningful effects on health care access for sexual-minority men
July 16, 2018 - New York to allow medical marijuana as substitute to opioids
July 16, 2018 - Reducing tapeworm infection could improve academic performance, reduce poverty | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Researchers describe key role of enzyme in regulating immune response against Chagas disease parasite
July 16, 2018 - Johnson & Johnson Announces Publication in The Lancet Highlighting Robust Immune Response to Janssen’s Mosaic-based Preventive Vaccine Regimen for HIV
July 16, 2018 - Do Racial and Gender Disparities Exist in Newer Glaucoma Treatments?
July 16, 2018 - Antibodies may predict transplant rejection risk
July 16, 2018 - New center sets out to stop disease before it starts | News Center
July 16, 2018 - FDA warns consumers about criminals sending fake warning letters
July 16, 2018 - Residential segregation linked with racial disparities in firearm homicide fatalities
July 16, 2018 - UW-Madison researchers develop new method to track Parkinson’s damage in the heart
July 16, 2018 - New approach to cultivate hypoallergenic tomato and strawberry varieties
July 16, 2018 - Smoking associated with delayed shinbone healing
July 16, 2018 - Sheila Dolezal, ‘team player extraordinaire,’ wins 2018 Amy J. Blue Award | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Advanced Prostate Cancer Variant More Common Than Thought
July 16, 2018 - New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom
July 16, 2018 - Renowned microbe hunter Stanley Falkow dies at 84 | News Center
July 15, 2018 - FDA Slaps Stronger Warnings on Potent Class of Antibiotics, Fluoroquinolones
July 15, 2018 - Don’t let depression keep you from exercising
July 15, 2018 - Student research symposium showcases curiosity and scholarship | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Heavy smokers have increased risk of heart rhythm disorder, shows study
July 15, 2018 - Parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems
July 15, 2018 - At colloquium, a range of views on value of predictive algorithms | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Pittcon invites oral and poster presentations for 2019 Technical Program
July 15, 2018 - Virtual reality could offer psychotherapy for fear of heights, study shows
July 15, 2018 - Retooled vaccine raises hopes as a lower-cost treatment for Type 1 diabetes
July 15, 2018 - Kolon TissueGene To Start US Phase III Clinical Trial For Invossa
July 15, 2018 - Study finds prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior
July 15, 2018 - Howard Chang named HHMI investigator | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Study shows tailored mental health services improve wellbeing of emerging adults
July 15, 2018 - A bright future might help teens steer clear of violence
July 15, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine explores the art, science of listening and hearing | News Center
July 15, 2018 - New study tracks how the brain turns simple sensory inputs into meaningful categories
July 15, 2018 - Deadlier subtype of metastatic prostate cancer found to be common than previously thought
July 15, 2018 - UZH scientists identify enzyme that controls cell division
July 15, 2018 - Unhealthy Food Behaviors May Signal Eating Disorder in Teen
July 15, 2018 - Study raises doubts on a previous theory of Parkinson’s disease
July 15, 2018 - Grant awarded to study whether stem cells can treat urinary incontinence | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Imaging techniques may help assess immune system recovery in HIV patients
July 15, 2018 - Machine-learning may aid in diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
July 15, 2018 - ‘Skin Cancer, Take A Hike!’ program promotes sun safety and skin cancer awareness
July 15, 2018 - Blink Health announces lowest prices for generic prescriptions through Blue Eagle Health
July 15, 2018 - New drug strategy can alleviate multiple behavioral, cellular deficiencies in FXS mouse model
July 15, 2018 - Georgia State professor receives federal grant to study virus similar to Ebola virus
July 15, 2018 - Quitting Smoking? Even a Little Exercise Can Help You Stay Slim
July 15, 2018 - DBS treatment may slow the progression of Parkinson’s tremor in early-stage patients
July 15, 2018 - 5 Questions: Luby on virus with potential to cause global pandemic | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Corn loses its cancer-fighting phenolic acids when processed into cornflakes
July 15, 2018 - Study uncovers possible link between iron loading, alcohol intake and mortality
July 15, 2018 - Molecular insights of NagA enzyme could help combat TB
July 15, 2018 - The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely
July 15, 2018 - Normalisation of ‘plus-size’ risks hidden danger of obesity, study finds
July 15, 2018 - $2.5 million award to support physician-scientist training | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Aeras announces publication of Phase 2 results of two TB vaccines
July 15, 2018 - Public to set research priorities in field of ethnic inequalities and severe mental illness
July 15, 2018 - Eisai and Biogen Announce Positive Topline Results of the Final Analysis for BAN2401 at 18 Months
July 15, 2018 - U.S. obesity rates rising again
July 15, 2018 - Millions could have incorrect statin, aspirin and blood pressure prescriptions | News Center
July 15, 2018 - Researchers identify factors associated with cell phone-related distracted driving in parents
July 15, 2018 - Bioethicists suggest ethical considerations for forensic use of genetic data
July 15, 2018 - Most clinical trial participants find benefits of sharing personal data outweigh risks, Stanford study finds | News Center
July 14, 2018 - Researchers solve protein puzzle that paves way for new cancer therapies
July 14, 2018 - Blood telomeres can help predict risk of disease worsening or death in COPD patients
July 14, 2018 - CDC: Nearly One-Third of Injury Deaths Occur at Home
July 14, 2018 - Injectable electronics offer powerful new tool in understanding how retinal cells work
July 14, 2018 - Human blood cells transformed into functional neurons | News Center
July 14, 2018 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ ACA under fire. Again.
July 14, 2018 - Small device with motion sensors can predict older adults’ risk of falling
July 14, 2018 - Neurological Fallout From Ebola Infection Worse Than Thought
Research reveals why risks of complications in pregnancy vary based on baby’s sex

Research reveals why risks of complications in pregnancy vary based on baby’s sex

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The sex of a baby controls the level of small molecules known as metabolites in the pregnant mother’s blood, which may explain why risks of some diseases in pregnancy vary depending whether the mother is carrying a boy or a girl, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

The findings, published today in JCI Insight, help to explain, for example, why male babies in the womb may be more vulnerable to the effects of poor growth, and why being pregnant with a girl may lead to an increased risk of severe pre-eclampsia for the mother.

A team led by researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, performed detailed scientific studies of more than 4,000 first time mothers and analysed samples of placenta and maternal blood.

They found that the genetic profile of the placentas of male and female babies were very different in relation to the baby’s sex. Many of the genes that differed according to the sex of the baby in the placenta had not previously been seen to differ by sex in other tissues of the body.

The team found that one of these uniquely sex-related placental genes controlled the level of a small molecule called spermine. Spermine is a metabolite – a substance involved in metabolism – that plays an important role in all cells and is even essential for the growth of some bacteria.

Female placentas had much higher levels of the enzyme that makes spermine, and mothers pregnant with baby girls had higher levels of a form of spermine in their blood compared to mothers pregnant with baby boys.

Placental cells from boys were also found to be more susceptible to the toxic effects of a drug that blocked spermine production. This provided direct experimental evidence for sex-related differences in the placental metabolism of spermine.

The researchers also found that the form of spermine which was higher in mothers pregnant with a girl was also predictive of the risk of pregnancy complications: high levels were associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia (where the mother develops high blood pressure and kidney disease), whereas low levels were associated with an increased risk of poor fetal growth.

The patterns observed were all consistent with previous work which has shown that boys may be more vulnerable to the effects of fetal growth restriction and that being pregnant with a girl may lead to an increased risk of severe preeclampsia.

“In pregnancy and childbirth, the sex of the baby is at the forefront of many parents’ minds, but we do not even think of the placenta as having a sex. This work shows that the placenta differs profoundly according to sex,” says Professor Gordon Smith from the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

“These differences alter elements of the composition of the mother’s blood and may even modify her risk of pregnancy complications. Better understanding of these differences could lead to new predictive tests and possibly even new approaches to reducing the risk of poor pregnancy outcome.”​​

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles