Altered amino acid profiles of the “mother–fetus” system in COVID-19

About authors

Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Natalia A. Lomova
Oparina, 4, Moscow, 117997, Russia; ur.xednay@avomol-ahsatan

About paper

Funding: the study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant reg. number 2004-60093.

Author contribution: Lomova NA — clinical data management, manuscript writing; Chagovets VV —mass spectrometry assay, statistical analysis of the data, manuscript editing; Dolgopolova EL — collection and processing of clinical samples in “red zone”, statistical analysis of the data; Novoselova AV — mass spectrometry assay, processing of spectral data; Petrova UL — collection and processing of clinical samples in “red zone”; Shmakov RG — clinical sample collection and data management, manuscript editing; Frankevich VE — concept, data management, writing and editing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by Ethical Review Board at the V.I. Kulakov National Medical Research Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology (protocol № 13 of 10 December 2020) and carried out in compliance with Declaration of Helsinki, the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Guideline, and Federal Law № 323-FZ “On Basics of Health Protection of Citizens in the Russian Federation” of 21 November 2011. Informed consent for the study was provided by all participants.

Received: 2022-04-14 Accepted: 2022-04-28 Published online: 2022-05-17

Systemic nature of the human body response to SARS-CoV-2 requires dedicated analysis at the molecular level. COVID-19 during pregnancy affects maternal health and may entail complications in the early neonatal period and possibly long-term consequences for the offspring. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on amino acid profiles in maternal venous blood, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood in order to develop a diagnostic panel accounting for possible consequences. The main group included 29 pregnant patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and the control group included 17 somatically healthy pregnant women. Amino acid profiles of the biological fluids were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography combined to mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) and assessed in logistic regression models. The analysis revealed altered content of certain amino acids, their biosynthetic precursors and metabolites in the biological fluids collected from patients with COVID-19 possibly reflecting the development of systemic inflammatory reaction and associated changes in gene expression profiles. These findings may guide further research into health outcomes for neonates born from mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. The study may help to develop advanced recommendations and differential care protocols for pregnant women and newborns diagnosed with COVID-19.

Keywords: mass spectrometry, COVID-19, blood plasma, amniotic fluid, amino acids, umbilical cord blood, venous blood, clinical neonatal markers, metabolic pathways