Insights Into Fetal and Neonatal Development Through Analysis of Cell-Free RNA in Body Fluids
Bianchi, D.W., Maron, J.L., Johnson, K.L.
The use of cell-free nucleic acids in the circulation of pregnant women for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis is arguably one of the hottest current topics in prenatal medicine. Between 1997 and the present era this field has gone from basic research to clinical application for diagnosis of fetal gender and Rhesus D status. Over the next few years it is likely that noninvasive prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome will also be possible. Here we summarize current and future clinical applications of analyzing cell-free fetal DNA and RNA in both maternal and neonatal body fluids, including maternal plasma, serum, whole blood, amniotic fluid, and neonatal saliva. We describe methods to evaluate normal and abnormal fetal and neonatal development using gene expression microarrays. We also discuss the ways in which differentially-regulated gene lists can advance knowledge of both fetal and neonatal biology, as well as suggest novel possibilities for fetal and neonatal treatment.
Bianchi, D.W., Maron, J.L., Johnson, K.L. "Insights Into Fetal and Neonatal Development Through Analysis of Cell-Free RNA in Body Fluids" Early Human Development (2010): 747–52