Transcriptome changes in maternal peripheral blood during term parturition mimic perturbations preceding spontaneous preterm birth

Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, Roberto Romero, Jose Galaz, Gaurav Bhatti, Bogdan Done, Derek Miller, Corina Ghita, Kenichiro Motomura, Marcelo Farias-Jofre, Eunjung Jung, Roger Pique-Regi, Sonia S. Hassan, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Adi L. Tarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The complex physiologic process of parturition includes the onset of labor, which requires the orchestrated stimulation of a common pathway involving uterine contractility, cervical ripening, and chorioamniotic membrane activation. However, the labor-specific processes taking place in these tissues have limited use as predictive biomarkers unless they can be probed in non-invasive samples, such as the peripheral blood. Herein, we utilized a transcriptomic dataset to assess labor-specific changes in the peripheral blood of women who delivered at term. We identified a set of genes that were differentially expressed with labor and enriched for immunological processes, and these gene expression changes were strongly correlated with results from prior studies, providing in silico validation of our findings. We then identified significant correlations between labor-specific transcriptomic changes in the maternal circulation and those detected in the chorioamniotic membranes, myometrium, and cervix of women at term, demonstrating that tissue-specific labor signatures are partly mirrored in the peripheral blood. Finally, we demonstrated a significant overlap between the peripheral blood transcriptomic changes in term parturition and those observed in asymptomatic women, prior to the diagnosis of preterm prelabor rupture of the membranes, who ultimately delivered preterm. Collectively, we provide evidence that the normal process of labor at term is characterized by a unique immunological expression signature, which may serve as a useful tool for assessing labor status and for potentially identifying women at risk for preterm birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • cervix
  • chorioamniotic membranes
  • fetal membranes
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • myometrium
  • parturition
  • placenta
  • preterm labor
  • uterus


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptome changes in maternal peripheral blood during term parturition mimic perturbations preceding spontaneous preterm birth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this