• amniotic fluid;
  • proteome;
  • chronic chorioamnionitis;
  • preterm birth


Acute chorioamnionitis of infectious origin and chronic chorioamnionitis of immunological origin are two major placental lesions of spontaneous preterm birth with elevated amniotic fluid interleukin-6 and CXCL10 concentrations, respectively. The changes in the amniotic fluid proteome associated with intra-amniotic infection and acute chorioamnionitis are well defined, yet alterations unique to chronic chorioamnionitis remain to be elucidated. This study was conducted to determine those amniotic fluid proteins changing specifically in the presence of chronic chorioamnionitis. Amniotic fluid obtained from acute chorioamnionitis, chronic chorioamnionitis and gestational age-matched controls were analysed by two-dimensional (2D) difference in gel electrophoresis and MALDI–TOF analyses. The type of histological inflammation was used to define each condition in preterm labour cases (n = 125) and term not in labour cases (n = 22), and the amniotic fluid concentrations of interleukin-6, CXCL8, CXCL10 and prostaglandin F were also measured by specific immunoassays. Among preterm labour cases, 31 differentially expressed proteins were identified in chronic chorioamnionitis cases as compared to both acute chorioamnionitis and control cases. Importantly, glycodelin-A, which maintains maternal tolerance against an allogeneic fetus, was decreased in chronic chorioamnionitis, while haptoglobin was increased. We report the amniotic fluid proteome of chronic chorioamnionitis for the first time, and the findings herein strongly suggest that there is a pathophysiological association between the changes of immunomodulatory proteins in the amniotic fluid and chronic chorioamnionitis, a histological manifestation of maternal anti-fetal allograft rejection. Copyright © 2010 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.