Expression profiles of fetal membrane nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidases (NOX) 2 and 3 differentiates spontaneous preterm birth and pPROM pathophysiologies

J. Polettini, M. G. Silva, M. Kacerovsky, T. A. Syed, George Saade, Ramkumar Menon

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10 Scopus citations


Introduction Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidases (NOX 1-5) are enzymes that generate cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) besides mitochondria and might be important ROS sources associated with pregnancy complications, particularly preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM), that has been related to ROS. Objective To characterize NOX enzymes expression in human fetal membranes. Methods Differential expression and localization of NOX isoforms in human fetal membranes collected from women with uncomplicated pregnancies at term, preterm birth (PTB) or pPROM and in vitro in normal term membranes maintained in an organ explant system stimulated with water-soluble cigarette smoke extract (wsCSE) were documented by real time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Results Fetal membranes from term deliveries, PTB and pPROM expressed NOX 2, 3 and 4 mRNAs whereas NOX 1 and 5 were not detected. NOX 2 expression was 2.3-fold higher in PTB than pPROM (p = 0.005) whereas NOX 3 was 2.2-fold higher in pPROM compared to PTB (p = 0.04). NOX 2 and 3 expressions at term mimicked pPROM and PTB, respectively. No difference in NOX 4 expression was observed among the studied groups. NOX 2, 3 and 4 were localized to both amniotic and chorionic cells. Expression of NOX 2, 3 and 4 were not significant in wsCSE-stimulated membranes compared to untreated controls. Discussion/conclusions NOX enzymes are present in the fetal membranes and are differentially expressed in PTB and pPROM. Absence of any changes in NOXs expression after wsCSE stimulation suggests ROS generation in the membranes does not always correlate with NOX expression.



  • Cigarette smoking extract
  • Oxidase enzymes
  • Preterm birth
  • Preterm premature rupture of membranes
  • Reactive species of oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology

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