A potential biomarker for pregnancy-associated heart disease?

April 24, 2013

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a deterioration in cardiac function that occurs in pregnant women during the last month or in the months following their pregnancy. This disorder can occur in women with no prior history of heart disease and the causes are not well understood.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ingrid Struman and colleagues at the University of Liege in Liege, Belgium, identified a molecule, miR-146a, that can serve as a biomarker for peripartum cardiomyopathy. Struman and colleagues found that expression of miR-146a was induced by the nursing . MiR-146a expression promoted and was increased in a mouse model of PPCM.

Conversely, loss of miR-146a in mice prevented PPCM. Importantly, miR-146a expression was elevated in the serum of pregnant women who developed PPCM, suggesting that serum miR-146a levels could predict which patients are at risk for the disease.

In a companion commentary, Richard Kitsis of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, discusses the potential implications of this work for the identification and treatment of PPCM.

Explore further: First genetic mutation linked to heart failure in pregnant women

More information: MicroRNA-146a is a therapeutic target and biomarker for peripartum cardiomyopathy, J Clin Invest. 2013;123(5):2143–2154. doi:10.1172/JCI64365
A microRNA links prolactin to peripartum cardiomyopathy, J Clin Invest. 2013;123(5):1925–1927. doi:10.1172/JCI69286

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.