The placenta is at the core of many pregnancy pathologies, but we have limited knowledge about placental function because of two key research barriers: 1) lack of guidelines for sample collection and pathologic diagnosis; and 2) limited tools are available for molecular analysis of stored placental samples. We aimed to create a searchable, population-based placental database of pathologic diagnoses, and to validate molecular methods for gene expression studies of matching formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) placental blocks. Our database has over 1000 pregnancies coded for clinical diagnosis with corresponding FFPE blocks that are available for gene expression studies. RNA harvested from FFPE tissues is of sufficient quality for downstream applications. We successfully used this pipeline to identify FFPE placenta from term and preterm pregnancies, and compared their gene expression. The establishment of this platform, which links clinicopathological data and molecular gene expression, will increase our understanding of obstetrical diseases.
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