Characterization of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue transcriptome in pregnant women with and without spontaneous labor at term: implication of alternative splicing in the metabolic adaptations of adipose tissue to parturition

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Objective:The aim of this study was to determine gene expression and splicing changes associated with parturition and regions (visceral vs. subcutaneous) of the adipose tissue of pregnant women.Study design:The transcriptome of visceral and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue from pregnant women at term with (n=15) and without (n=25) spontaneous labor was profiled with the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Exon 1.0 ST array. Overall gene expression changes and the differential exon usage rate were compared between patient groups (unpaired analyses) and adipose tissue regions (paired analyses). Selected genes were tested by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.Results:Four hundred and eighty-two genes were differentially expressed between visceral and subcutaneous fat of pregnant women with spontaneous labor at term (q-value <0.1; fold change >1.5). Biological processes enriched in this comparison included tissue and vasculature development as well as inflammatory and metabolic pathways. Differential splicing was found for 42 genes [q-value <0.1; differences in Finding Isoforms using Robust Multichip Analysis scores >2] between adipose tissue regions of women not in labor. Differential exon usage associated with parturition was found for three genes (LIMS1, HSPA5, and GSTK1) in subcutaneous tissues.Conclusion:We show for the first time evidence of implication of mRNA splicing and processing machinery in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of women in labor compared to those without labor.

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