An overrepresentation of adverse pregnancy outcomes has been observed in pregnancies associated with a male fetus. We investigated the association between fetal gender and candidate biomarkers for preeclampsia. Proteins were quantified in samples taken at 20 weeks from women recruited to the SCreening fOr Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study (preeclampsia n = 150; no preeclampsia n = 450). In contrast to placental growth factor, soluble endoglin, and insulin-like growth factor acid labile subunit, levels of metallopeptidase domain 12 (ADAM12) at 20 weeks were dependent on fetal gender in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia, for male (n = 73) fetuses the multiples of the median (MoM; interquartile range [IQR] 1.1-1.5) was 1.3, whereas for female fetuses (n = 75) MoM was 1.1 (1.0-1.3); P < .01. Prediction of preeclampsia using ADAM12 levels was improved for pregnancies associated with a male fetus (area under receiver-operator curve [AUC] 0.73 [95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67-0.80]) than that of a female fetus (AUC 0.62 [0.55-0.70]); P = .03. The data presented here fit a contemporary hypothesis that there is a difference between the genders in response to an adverse maternal environment and suggest that an alteration in ADAM12 may reflect an altered placental response in pregnancies subsequently complicated by preeclampsia.
- Fetal sex
- Mass spectrometry