The role of caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways of apoptosis in the premature rupture of the membranes: A case-control study


Background: Premature rupture of membrane (PROM) remains a problem in obstetrics, the mechanisms of PROM have not been clearly defined. Apoptosis is thought to play a key role in the mechanism, via caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways. Caspase-3, Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), and anti-apoptosis B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) are hypothesized to be involved in PROM.

Objective: To determine the role of caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways in the mechanism of PROM.

Materials and Methods: This was a case-control study involving 42 pregnant women with gestational age between 20-42 wk. Participants were divided into the case group (with PROM) and control group (without PROM). Amniotic membranes were collected immediately after the delivery, and samples were taken from the site of membrane rupture. Immunohistochemical examination was done to determine the expression of Caspase-3, AIF, and Bcl-2.

Results: The expressions of Caspase-3 (OR = 9.75; 95% CI = 2.16-43.95; p = 0.001) and AIF (OR = 6.60; 95% CI = 1.48-29.36; p = 0.009) were significantly increased, whereas, Bcl-2 expressions (OR = 8.00; 95% CI = 1.79-35.74; p = 0.004) were significantly decreased in the case group.

Conclusion: High Caspase-3, AIF, and low Bcl-2 expression were the risk factors for PROM. Thus, it is evident that caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways are involved in the mechanism of PROM.

Key words: Premature, Membrane, Apoptosis, Caspase, Pregnancy.

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