Novel and Very Early Detection of Preeclampsia
Guiying Nie and colleagues of Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research in Australia will test the utility of measuring blood levels of the HtrA3 protein for the early diagnosis of preeclampsia, which is a serious disorder of human pregnancy. Early diagnosis would enable therapeutic intervention helping to avoid premature delivery and associated risks. In Phase I, they developed a high-throughput assay to detect HtrA3 levels in the blood, and evaluated its ability to identify pregnancies at high risk of preeclampsia using a small number of samples. In Phase II, they will scale up this evaluation by testing large cohorts of blood samples collected during early pregnancy and analyze the diagnostic value of two other HtrA family members. They will also study the role of HtrA proteins in preeclampsia using cell and mouse models.