News from CEXS-UPF
A study published in the latest issue of Pediatric Research, the official journal of the American Pediatric Society (APS) and the European Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR), describes the largest molecular signature to date of the fetal inflammatory response, found in umbilical cord tissue from extremely preterm newborns. The research was conducted by Daniel Costa, paediatrician at the Hospital de Figueres (Figueres), and Robert Castelo, leader of the Functional Genomics group of the Research Programme in Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), joint research programme of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).
Before birth about 30% of newborns suffer an intra-amniotic infection that triggers an inflammatory response in the fetus, also known as the fetal inflammatory response (FIR), increasing their risk of disease and mortality. Although this association is well characterized, little is known about the extent of molecular changes that participate in FIR and their implication in diseases of prematurity. To conduct the study, Costa and Castelo compared the activity of the umbilical cord genes of 18 preterm infants affected by FIR with extremely preterm infants without FIR. The researchers found 3,896 such genes, 1,097 of which showed a minimum 50% change in FIR-affected preterm newborns with respect to non-affected ones.
D. Costa and R. Castelo. Umbilical cord gene expression reveals the molecular architecture of the fetal inflammatory response in extremely preterm newborns. Pediatric Research, 2016. DOI: 10.1038/pr.2015.233