Elevated Levels of Total Cell-Free DNA in Maternal Serum Samples Arise from the Generation of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps

Chanchal Sur Chowdhury, Sinuhe Hahn, Paul Hasler, Irene Hoesli, Olav Lapaire, Stavros Giaglis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The analysis of cell-free DNA from maternal blood samples has facilitated the noninvasive detection of fetal aneuploidies or hereditary Mendelian disorders. In this context, previous studies have indicated that the pool of cell-free DNA is greater in maternal serum than in plasma samples, necessitating optimized collection and storage protocols. As the source of this increased amount of cell-free DNA is not clear, we have now examined whether neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contribute to this material. Material and Methods: Serum samples were collected in all three trimesters of normal healthy pregnant women, and at term from cases with manifest preeclampsia. The presence of NET-derived material was demonstrated by the detection of cell-free DNA fragments complexed to neutrophil granular proteins (i.e. myeloperoxidase). Results: Our data indicate that NET-derived cell-free DNA/myeloperoxidase complexes were greater in serum from normal pregnant women than in normal matching nonpregnant controls. This neutrophil chromosomal material increased incrementally throughout gestation and was most pronounced in cases with preeclampsia. Discussion: By detecting increased levels of cell-free DNA/myeloperoxidase complexes in maternal serum samples, our data indicate that a significant proportion of this material is derived from the generation of NETs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Cell-free DNA
  • Maternal serum screening
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps
  • Neutrophils
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy

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