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  • Author: Wassim Y Almawi x
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Wassim Y Almawi, Fatima S Al-Shaikh, Ohannes K Melemedjian and Ahmad W Almawi

Protein Z (PZ) is a vitamin K-dependent factor characterized by its homology to other vitamin K-dependent factors (factors VII, IX, and X, protein C and protein S), but lacks any enzymatic activity. Instead, PZ acts as a cofactor for the inhibition of factor Xa through the serpin PZ-dependent protease inhibitor (ZPI). PZ deficiency is associated with a procoagulant state, highlighted by excessive FXa secretion and thrombin production, and is linked with several thrombotic disorders, including arterial vascular and venous thromboembolic diseases. A role for the PZ–ZPI complex in the regulation of physiological pregnancy has been demonstrated, highlighted by the progressive elevation in PZ levels in the first trimester of gestation, which then steadily decline toward delivery. An association between altered plasma PZ concentrations and adverse pregnancy outcomes (recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and placental abruption) has been reported. The mechanism by which PZ deficiency leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes is not clear, but it is multifactorial. It may be attributed to the anti-PZ IgG and IgM autoantibodies, which apparently act independently of classical antiphospholipid antibodies (lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, and anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies). PZ deficiency has also been reported to be constitutional, and a number of variants in the PROZ (PZ) gene and SERPINA10 (ZPI) gene are linked with specific adverse pregnancy complications. This review summarizes the relationship between adverse pregnancy outcomes and acquired and constitutional PZ–ZPI deficiency, in order to understand whether or not PZ deficiency could be considered as a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcomes.

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Walid Zammiti, Nabil Mtiraoui, Choumous Kallel, Eric Mercier, Wassim Y Almawi and Touhami Mahjoub

Whereas antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are associated with thrombotic events and recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA), the contribution of anti-β2 glycoprotein 1 (β2GP1) and anti-annexin V antibodies as risk factors for RSA remain poorly understood. We investigated anti-β2-GPI and anti-annexin V IgM and IgG antibodies as potential risk factors for RSA in 200 women with more than three consecutive idiopathic RSA, and 200 age-matched, healthy, parous women. Pearson’s chi squared test analysis showed that while anti-β2-GPI IgG (P = 0.416) and IgM (P = 0.72) were comparable between patients and controls, elevated anti-annexin V IgG (P = 0.006), but not IgM (P = 0.084), was more pronounced in patients. Higher frequencies of elevated IgG-only (P = 0.005), but not IgM-only (P = 1.000; OR = 6.66), anti-annexin V antibodies were noted among patients. Multinomial regression analysis showed that body-mass index (overweight and obesity; P = 0.008), education status (P < 0.001) and anti-β2-GPI IgM (P = 0.033), but not IgG (P = 0.723), were associated with early abortion, while anti-β2-GPI IgG (P = 0.030) and anti-annexin V IgG (P = 0.004) were associated with late RSA. For combined early-late RSA, the only variable selected was education status (P < 0.001), and neither anti-annexin V nor anti-β2-GPI IgM and IgG was associated with early-late RSA. Accordingly, anti-annexin V and anti-β2-GPI should be regarded as independent risk markers of RSA.