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Expressions of mitochondria-related genes in pregnant women with subclinical hypothyroidism, and expressions of miRNAs in maternal and cord blood.

Thyroid Research 2023 September 19
BACKGROUND: Subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy and definition by upper thyrotropin (TSH) cutoff are controversial. As mitochondria are influenced by thyroid hormones, the purpose in this study was to measure expression of mitochondria-related genes in euthyroid and subclinical hypothyroid pregnant women to obtain more knowledge of potential metabolic consequences of maternal subclinical hypothyroidism. In addition, we wished to test if applied TSH-cutoff significantly changed our results of expressed gene-levels. Moreover, we aimed to identify potential microRNA-biomarkers for subclinical hypothyroidism - markers that could be traced to offspring as well.

METHODS: From a cohort of at-term pregnant women undergoing planned cesarean section, 77 women had expression levels of the mitochondria-related genes Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor-γ coactivator-1β (PGC-1β), mitochondrial Transcription Factor A (TFAM), Superoxide Dismutase 2 (SOD2) and Nuclear Respiratory Factor 2 (NRF-2) determined by qPCR from blood sampled in prior to delivery. Two TSH-cutoff levels defining subclinical hypothyroidism (> 3.0 and > 3.7 mIU/L) were applied for the procession of results, generating two data analyses of the same cohort. In 22 pairwise maternal-cord samples (subclinical hypothyroid/euthyroid-rate 0.5, TSH-cutoff > 3.0 mIU/L), microRNA-expressions (miRNA) were analyzed.

RESULTS: All gene expressions were lower in the subclinical hypothyroid group regardless of applied TSH-cutoff, but insignificant except for PGC-1β at TSH cutoff > 3.0 mIU/L. Two miRNAs (hsa-let-7d-3p and hsa-miR-345-5p) were upregulated in blood from women and offspring (cord blood) with subclinical hypothyroidism.

CONCLUSIONS: A trend towards decreased mitochondrial gene expressions in subclinical hypothyroidism were demonstrated. The miRNAs hsa-let-7d-3p and hsa-miR-345-5p might be potential markers of maternal subclinical hypothyroidism. However, larger studies are needed to verify the findings.

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