Title

Epsilon globin gene expression in developing human fetal tissues.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2016

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The discovery of free fetal DNA in plasma of pregnant women has opened a new avenue for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. We hypothesized that epsilon (ɛ)-globin gene expression could serve as a positive control for the presence of fetal nucleic acid.

STUDY DESIGN: We measured ɛ-globin mRNA in human fetal tissues and compared concentrations with that measured in adult non-pregnant and pregnant samples. Total RNA was isolated from fetal marrow, liver, blood, and placenta (10-24 weeks gestation), from adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and from maternal plasma. RNA was reverse transcribed and quantitative polymerase chain reaction performed for ɛ-globin expression.

RESULTS: ɛ-globin gene expression was detected in all fetal samples, was detected in plasma of pregnant women, but was negligible in non-pregnant samples. Relative ɛ-globin gene expression was significantly greater in fetal blood compared to fetal liver, and was minimally expressed in placenta. ɛ-globin gene expression decreased at the highest gestational ages in fetal blood, while expression was greatest at 15-19 weeks in fetal marrow.

CONCLUSION: Fetal ɛ-globin gene expression is significantly greater than adult expression and is increased in maternal plasma compared to non-pregnant samples. ɛ-globin gene expression might serve as a positive control when determining the presence of fetal nucleic acid in total nucleic acid isolated from maternal plasma.

Publication Title

J Neonatal Perinatal Med

ISSN

1878-4429

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

91

Last Page

97

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