Extreme preterm infants are a growing population in neonatal intensive care units who carry a high mortality and morbidity. Multiple factors play a role in preterm birth, resulting in major impact on organogenesis leading to complications including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The goal of this study was to identify biomarker signatures associated with prematurity and BPD.
We analyzed miRNA and mRNA profiles in tracheal aspirates (TAs) from 55 infants receiving invasive mechanical ventilation. Twenty-eight infants were extremely preterm and diagnosed with BPD, and 27 were term babies receiving invasive mechanical ventilation for elective procedures.
We found 22 miRNAs and 33 genes differentially expressed (FDR < 0.05) in TAs of extreme preterm infants with BPD vs. term babies without BPD. Pathway analysis showed associations with inflammatory response, cellular growth/proliferation, and tissue development.
Specific mRNA-miRNA signatures in TAs may serve as biomarkers for BPD pathogenesis, a consequence of extreme prematurity.
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The code used for data analysis in the current study can be found in the Silveyra lab repository, available at http://psilveyra.github.io/silveyralab/.
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The authors thank Susan DiAngelo for assistance with sample and data collection. The authors thank the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Genome Sciences Core Facility for RNAseq analysis and Real Time PCR equipment.
This work was supported by grants from Children’s Miracle Network (PS, CNO), Center for Research for Women and Newborn Health (PS, NF, RS), and Penn State College of Medicine faculty endowment funds (CNO, PS, RS).
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Oji-Mmuo, C.N., Siddaiah, R., Montes, D.T. et al. Tracheal aspirate transcriptomic and miRNA signatures of extreme premature birth with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. J Perinatol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41372-020-00868-9