Biofluid lipidome: a source for potential diagnostic biomarkers
Preterm delivery (PTD) represents a major health problem that occurs in 1 in 10 births. The hypothesis of the present study was that the metabolic profile of different biological fluids, obtained from pregnant women during the second trimester of gestation, could allow useful correlations with pregnancy outcome. Holistic and targeted metabolomics approaches were applied for the complementary assessment of the metabolic content of prospectively collected amniotic fluid (AF) and paired maternal blood serum samples from 35 women who delivered preterm (between 29 weeks + 0 days and 36 weeks +5 days gestation) and 35 women delivered at term. The results revealed trends relating the metabolic content of the analyzed samples with preterm delivery. Untargeted and targeted profiling showed differentiations in certain key metabolites in the biological fluids of the two study groups. In AF, intermediate metabolites involved in energy metabolism (pyruvic acid, glutamic acid, and glutamine) were found to contribute to the classification of the two groups. In maternal serum, increased levels of lipids and alterations of key end-point metabolites were observed in cases of preterm delivery. Overall, the metabolic content of second-trimester AF and maternal blood serum shows potential for the identification of biomarkers related to fetal growth and preterm delivery.