Expression levels of Drosha and Dicer enzymes and DGCR8 protein in pre-eclamptic patients

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.

4 Gynecologist, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Astara, Iran.


Introduction: Pre-eclampsia is a serious problem of pregnancy that is associated with proteinuria and increased blood pressure in the second half of pregnancy. It is one of the three leading causes of maternal and fetal mortality. Dysregulated expression of miRNAs related to angiogenesis plays a role in pre-eclampsia and can be considered in the diagnosis of this complication. In the current study, we sought to investigate the expression of Drosha, Dicer, and DGCR8 genes in patients with preeclampsia.
Methods: This descriptive-analytic study was carried out among 84 healthy non-pregnant and pregnant women who visited the Women’s Clinic of Alavi Hospital during 2014-2015. The subjects were randomly divided into three groups of 28 each, namely pregnant women with pre-eclampsia, healthy pregnant women, and healthy non-pregnant women (control). Demographic, clinical, and anthropometric data such as age, age of pregnancy, weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) were recorded for all the patients. Then, blood samples were taken from the participants and sent to the research center of Faculty of Medical Sciences for the investigation of the expression rates of Dicer, Drosha, and DGCR8 genes. We also collected delivery outcome information, patient data, and blood test results. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and performing ANOVA, t-test, and Fisher’s exact test in SPSS, version 21.
Results: The levels of DGCR8 protein and Dicer and Drosha enzymes in the pre-eclamptic pregnant women and healthy pregnant women were higher than in the non-pregnant healthy women (control group; P≤0.05). Moreover, the levels of DGCR8 protein and Dicer enzyme were higher in the pregnant mothers with pre-eclampsia than the healthy pregnant women, while the level of Drosha enzyme was lower  in the pregnant women with pre-eclampsia relative to the healthy pregnant women.
Conclusion: The levels of Dicer and Drosha enzymes and DGCR8 protein were higher in the healthy and pre-eclamptic pregnant women compare to the healthy controls. Thereby, these molecules can be considered in both diagnosis, as potential indicator molecules of pre-eclampsia, and treatment.


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