Dynamic Alteration in the Vaginal Secretory Proteome across the Early and Mid-Trimesters of Pregnancy.


Kumar B(1), Dey AK(1), Saha S(1), Singh AK(1), Kshetrapal P(2), Wadhwa N(2), Thiruvengadam R(2), Desiraju BK(2), Bhatnagar S(2), Salunke DM(1)(3), Rashid F(4), Malakar D(4), Maiti TK(1); GARBH-Ini Study Group.
Author information:
(1)Regional Centre for Biotechnology, NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad 121001, India.
(2)Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad 121001, India.
(3)International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India.
(4)Sciex, 121 UdyogVihar Phase IV, Gurgaon 122015, India.


Pregnancy is characterized by intense physiological and structural alterations in the vagina, cervix, and overlying fetal membranes. High vaginal fluid (HVF) is a proximal fluid that covers the lower part of the female reproductive system and the severity of vaginal pathology often adversely affects pregnancy outcomes. To identify the correlation of vaginal fluid proteome dynamics and physiological changes during the progression of pregnancy, a longitudinal study was performed on 20 pregnant women who delivered a baby in >37 weeks without any complications. SWATH-MS-based label-free quantitative proteomics was performed to profile the HVF proteome at three time points defined as V1 (7-12 weeks), V2 (18-20 weeks), and V3 (26-28 weeks). Linear mixed-effect models were used to estimate protein abundance as a function of the period of gestational age. In this study, we identified 1015 HVF proteins and 61 of them were significantly altered until late second trimester. Our result demonstrates that the HVF proteins reveal gestational age-specific expression patterns and the function of these proteins is associated with tissue remodeling, organ development, and microbial defense. Our study provides an opportunity to monitor the underlying physiology of pregnancy that may be further probed for the biomarker identification in pregnancy-related adverse outcomes. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD014846 and PXD021811.