Gangnam CHA General Hospital and CHA Stem Cell Institute identifies the ITI-H4 protein as the cause of pregnancy loss.
One out of every three pregnancy loss is inherited, and tends
According to the 2010 data reported to the Ministry of Health and Welfare by Korea National Health Insurance Corporation, about 15% of all pregnant women experience miscarriage. Over 50% of all cases of pregnancy loss are still not identified of the cause, and there are no known preventive measures or treatment methods today. The scientists at CHA Stem Cell Institute have identified a protein and linked it to a possible indicator of recurring pregnancy loss. Kwang-Hyun Baek from CHA University, Seoul, and colleagues found that ITI-H4, a protein found in the blood whose function is unclear, was fragmented in the blood samples of patients suffering from recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). 'RPL is the loss of at least three consecutive pregnancies after 20-28 weeks,' explains Baek who adds that over half of the possible causes are unknown. 'We have seen a number of patients suffering from RPL without knowing the cause,' he says. To look for differences between RPL patients and patients with no pregnancy complications, the team compared their blood samples. They used electrophoresis a technique that uses an electrical field to manipulate charged particles-to separate mixtures of proteins in the blood and examined the separated proteins spectroscopically. They found that a fragmented form of a protein called ITI-H4 was present in the blood of patients with RPL, but not in the control samples. 'ITI-H4 can be used to detect RPL patients by simply screening for the proteins' presence in the blood,' says Baek.
Experts expect the new finding will contribute greatly to the
prevention and treatment of recurring pregnancy loss.
Dr. Baek expects the identification of the ITI-H4 protein will help the doctors to prevent and treat recurring pregnancy loss in the future and said, "now it has become possible to screen recurring pregnancy loss patients with their blood samples only this will be revolutionary in the infertility and reproductive medicine sector."
The discovery is published in the Molecular BioSystems journal.
The report has been presented at the Society of Reproductive Medicine and the European Society of Obstetrics and Gynecoloy, and was published on the Molecular BioSystems journal, and the scientists from all over the world are paying great interest to the finding. Baek and his colleagues are currently developing a diagnostic kit to screen recurring pregnancy loss patients, and the technology is being reviewed by the Korea Patent Office.