Placental and Cord Blood Markers Associated With Premature Birth and Disorders of Premature Birth in Newborn Infants

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01439048
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 22, 2011
Last Update Posted : August 28, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Venkatesh Sampath, Medical College of Wisconsin

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine if changes in specific gene products in the placenta or cord/infant blood affect a baby's birth weight, increase the risk of premature birth, or increase the risk of developing diseases of prematurity. We would also like to characterize whether placental epigenetic changes or placental markers of environmental exposures are associated with premature birth.

Condition or disease
Premature Birth

Detailed Description:

Prematurity, diseases of prematurity and growth-disorders of newborn infants contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality seen in newborn infants [1,2,3]. One out of eight newborn infants in the USA is born premature (gestational age less than 37 completed weeks). In 2004, of the 27,860 infants dying within the first year of life, greater than 16,000 were born premature [2]. Moreover, premature infants who survive the neonatal period are at increased risk of cerebral palsy, developmental delays, growth impairment and long-term respiratory disability [3-5]. Additionally, fetal growth restriction and fetal growth excess results in infants being delivered as small for gestational age infants or large for gestational age infants, respectively. Infants born with such growth-disorders are at increased risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality and as adults are at significant risk of obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease [6,7].

While the etiology of preterm birth and growth-disorders can be ascribed to maternal conditions, chromosomal defects or specific maternal environmental exposures in some newborn infants, for a majority the etiology remains unknown [8,9]. There is increasing evidence pointing to the role of genetic susceptibility factors in the causation of prematurity and growth-disorders of the newborn infant [8, 10-12]. Further, epigenetic changes in growth regulating or inflammatory genes in the placenta can program the fetus for premature birth, growth-disorders and other diseases in the postnatal period.

The overall objective of this application is four-fold.

  1. To determine whether altered placental or fetal expression of imprinted genes is associated with disorders of growth, prematurity or other postnatal diseases in newborn infants.
  2. To determine whether altered placental expression of genes that regulate the innate immune response is associated with premature birth or other postnatal diseases in newborn infants.
  3. To determine whether placental markers of environmental exposure (such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAH) or epigenetic changes in placental inflammatory genes or growth genes are associated with prematurity or postnatal diseases in newborn infants.
  4. To determine whether cord blood immune responses and markers of immune-cell function are different between preterm and term infants and are associated with postnatal diseases in preterm infants.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 82 participants
Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Study of Environmental Toxicants and Inflammatory Markers in Prematurity and Diseases of Prematurity
Study Start Date : June 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2015

Term infants
Infants born at greater than 37 weeks gestation
Preterm Infants
Infants born at less than 37 weeks gestation

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Comparisons of placental gene expression and cord blood immune markers [ Time Frame: through hospital discharge ]
    Placental gene expression and cord-blood immune markers/function will be compared between 50 term infants and 150 preterm infants. Further, among preterm infants it will be determined whether certain patterns of gene expression and immune marker distribution are associated with specific diseases/condition and growth outcomes. Similarly, epigenetic changes in the immune genes and markers of environmental exposure will be compared between preterm infants and term infants. Associations between environment exposures and epigenetic changes and diseases of prematurity will also be determined.

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
whole blood, placenta

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 3 Months   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Infants who are born both premature (less than 37 weeks gestation) and full term infants (greater than 37 weeks gestation).

Inclusion Criteria:

  • all infants born alive

Exclusion Criteria:

  • infants who are born with no signs of life

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01439048

United States, Wisconsin
Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, United States, 53226
Sponsors and Collaborators
Medical College of Wisconsin
Principal Investigator: Venkatesh Sampath, MBBS Medical College of Wisconsin


Responsible Party: Venkatesh Sampath, Staff Physician, Medical College of Wisconsin Identifier: NCT01439048     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CHW 09/102, GC 900
First Posted: September 22, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 28, 2015
Last Verified: August 2015

Keywords provided by Venkatesh Sampath, Medical College of Wisconsin:
Cord Blood
Environmental Markers
Toll-Like Receptors

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Premature Birth
Obstetric Labor, Premature
Obstetric Labor Complications
Pregnancy Complications