Activin A and pathologies of pregnancy: a review

Courtney V. Barber, Jennifer H. Yo, Rahana Abdul Rahman, Euan M. Wallace, Kirsten R. Palmer, Sarah A. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review


Activin A is a two-subunit protein belonging to the transforming growth factor β superfamily. First discovered almost three decades ago, it has since been implicated in diverse physiological roles, ranging from wound repair to reproduction. After 30 years of research, altered activin A levels are now understood to be associated with the development of various diseases, making activin A a potential therapeutic target. In pregnancy, the placenta and fetal membranes are major producers of activin A, with significantly enhanced serum concentrations now recognised as a contributor to numerous gestational disorders. Evidence now suggests that circulating levels of activin A may be clinically relevant in the early detection of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage and preeclampsia. This review aims to summarise our current understanding of activin A as a potential diagnostic marker in common pregnancy pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Activin A
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Fetal growth restrictio
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy

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