Preterm birth in Caucasians is associated with coagulation and inflammation pathway gene variants

Digna R. Velez, Stephen J. Fortunato, Poul Thorsen, Salvatore J. Lombardi, Scott M. Williams, Ramkumar Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Spontaneous preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation - PTB) occurs in ∼ 12% of pregnancies in the United States, and is the largest contributor to neonatal morbidity and mortality. PTB is a complex disease, potentially induced by several etiologic factors from multiple pathophysiologic pathways. To dissect the genetic risk factors of PTB a large-scale high-throughput candidate gene association study was performed examining 1536 SNP in 130 candidate genes from hypothesized PTB pathways. Maternal and fetal DNA from 370 US Caucasian birth-events (172 cases and 198 controls) was examined. Single locus, haplotype, and multi-locus association analyses were performed separately on maternal and fetal data. For maternal data the strongest associations were found in genes in the complement-coagulation pathway related to decidual hemorrhage in PTB. In this pathway 3 of 6 genes examined had SNPs significantly associated with PTB. These include factor V (FV) that was previously associated with PTB, factor VII (FVII), and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The single strongest effect was observed in tPA marker rs879293 with a significant allelic (p = 2.30 × 10-3) and genotypic association (p = 2.06 × 10-6) with PTB. The odds ratio (OR) for this SNP was 2.80 [CI 1.77-4.44] for a recessive model. Given that 6 of 8 markers in tPA were statistically significant, sliding window haplotype analyses were performed and revealed an associating 4 marker haplotype in tPA (p = 6.00 × 10-3). The single strongest effect in fetal DNA was observed in the inflammatory pathway at rs17121510 in the interleukin-10 receptor antagonist (IL-10RA) gene for allele (p = 0.01) and genotype (p = 3.34 × 10-4). The OR for the IL-10RA genotypic additive model was 1.92 [CI 1.15-3.19] (p = 2.00 × 10-3). Finally, exploratory multi-locus analyses in the complement and coagulation pathway were performed and revealed a potentially significant interaction between a marker in FV (rs2187952) and FVII (rs3211719) (p<0.001). These results support a role for genes in both the coagulation and inflammation pathways, and potentially different maternal and fetal genetic risks for PTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3283
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 26 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Preterm birth in Caucasians is associated with coagulation and inflammation pathway gene variants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this