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A peripheral immune signature of labor induction


Ando, Kazuo et al. (2021), A peripheral immune signature of labor induction, Dryad, Dataset,


Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women in the United States undergo labor induction. The onset and establishment of labor, particularly induced labor, is a complex and dynamic process influenced by multiple endocrine, inflammatory, and mechanical factors as well as obstetric and pharmacological interventions. The duration from labor induction to the onset of active labor remains unpredictable. Moreover, prolonged labor is associated with severe complications for the mother and her offspring, most importantly chorioamnionitis, uterine atony, and postpartum hemorrhage. While maternal immune system adaptations that are critical for the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy have been previously characterized, the role of the immune system during the establishment of labor is poorly understood. Understanding maternal immune adaptations during labor initiation can have important ramifications for predicting successful labor induction and labor complications in both induced and spontaneous types of labor. The aim of this study was to characterize labor-associated maternal immune system dynamics from labor induction to the start of active labor. Serial blood samples from fifteen participants were collected immediately prior to labor induction (baseline) and during the latent phase until the start of active labor. Using high-dimensional mass cytometry, a total of 1,059 single-cell immune features were extracted from each sample. A multivariate machine-learning method was employed to characterize the dynamic changes of the maternal immune system after labor induction until the establishment of active labor. A cross-validated linear sparse regression model (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator, LASSO) predicted the minutes since induction of labor with high accuracy (R = 0.86, p = 6.7e-15, RMSE = 277 min). Immune features most informative for the model included STAT5 signaling in central memory CD8+ T cells and pro-inflammatory STAT3 signaling responses across multiple adaptive and innate immune cell subsets. Our study reports a peripheral immune signature of labor induction, and provides important insights into biological mechanisms that may ultimately predict labor induction success as well as complications, thereby facilitating clinical decision-making to improve maternal and fetal well-being.


Please see Material and Methods section in the associated publication.