The amniotic fluid proteome changes with term labor and informs biomarker discovery in maternal plasma

Gaurav Bhatti, Roberto Romero, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Nandor Gabor Than, Kevin R. Theis, Jose Galaz, Francesca Gotsch, Roger Pique-Regi, Stanley M. Berry, Mahendra Kavdia, Adi L. Tarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The intra-uterine components of labor, namely, myometrial contractility, cervical ripening, and decidua/membrane activation, have been extensively characterized and involve a local pro-inflammatory milieu of cellular and soluble immune mediators. Targeted profiling has demonstrated that such processes extend to the intra-amniotic space, yet unbiased analyses of the proteome of human amniotic fluid during labor are lacking. Herein, we utilized an aptamer-based platform to characterize 1,310 amniotic fluid proteins and found that the proteome undergoes substantial changes with term labor (251 proteins with differential abundance, q < 0.1, and fold change > 1.25). Proteins with increased abundance in labor are enriched for immune and inflammatory processes, consistent with prior reports of labor-associated changes in the intra-uterine space. By integrating the amniotic fluid proteome with previously generated placental-derived single-cell RNA-seq data, we demonstrated the labor-driven upregulation of signatures corresponding to stromal-3 and decidual cells. We also determined that changes in amniotic fluid protein abundance are reflected in the maternal plasma proteome. Collectively, these findings provide novel insights into the amniotic fluid proteome in term labor and support its potential use as a source of biomarkers to distinguish between true and false labor by using maternal blood samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3136
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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