Profile of cardiovascular microRNAs in children related to pregnancy complications

Created by: Ilona Hromadnikova

Children descending from pregnancies complicated by gestational hypertension (GH), preeclampsia (PE) or fetal growth restriction (FGR) have a lifelong cardiovascular risk. The aim of the study was to verify if pregnancy complications induce postnatal alterations in gene expression of microRNAs associated with cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases. Twenty-nine microRNAs were assessed in peripheral blood, compared between groups, and analyzed in relation to both aspects, the current presence of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular complications and the previous occurrence of pregnancy complications with regard to the clinical signs, dates of delivery, and Doppler ultrasound examination. The expression profile of miR-21-5p differed between controls and children with a history of uncomplicated pregnancies with abnormal clinical findings. Abnormal expression profile of multiple microRNAs was found in children affected with GH (miR-1-3p, miR-17-5p, miR-20a-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-23a-3p, miR-26a-5p, miR-29a-3p, miR-103a-3p, miR-125b-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-133a-3p, miR-146a-5p, miR-181a-5p, miR-195-5p, and miR-342-3p), PE (miR-1-3p, miR-20a-5p, miR-20b-5p, miR-103a-3p, miR-133a-3p, miR-342-3p), and FGR (miR-17-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-133a-3p). The index of pulsatility in the ductus venosus showed a strong positive correlation with miR-210-3p gene expression in children exposed to PE and/or FGR. Any of changes in epigenome (up-regulation of miR-1-3p and miR-133a-3p) that were induced by pregnancy complications are long-acting and may predispose children affected with GH, PE, or FGR to later development of cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases. Novel epigenetic changes (aberrant expression profile of microRNAs) appeared in a proportion of children that were exposed to GH, PE, or FGR. Screening of particular microRNAs may stratify a highly risky group of children that might benefit from implementation of early primary prevention strategies.

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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 654; (registering DOI)

National Patent Application-Industrial Property Office, Czech Republic (PV 2018-595).

  •   Epigenetic changes characteristic for cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases are also present in children descending from complicated pregnancies.
  •  The dysregulation of at least two microRNAs (miR-1-3p and miR-133a-3p) induced by pregnancy-related complications in placental tissues and/or umbilical cord blood is also present in whole peripheral blood of  children with hindsight (3 to 11 years after the birth) after the exposure to gestational hypertension, preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction.
  •   Both individual and combined cardiovascular/cerebrovascular disease associated microRNA screening was able to identify children at a higher risk of later development of cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases.