Background: We hypothesized that the SKA2 gene can convert hemoglobin F to A leading
to the maturity of the hematopoietic system by glucocorticoid hormone; so, the present study aimed to
investigate the health outcome of newborns by using the effect of SKA2 gene on hematopoietic maturation.
Methods: At first, 142 samples were divided into term and preterm. After sampling from the umbilical
cord blood, the expression of SKA2 genes and HbA and F were evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR.
The blood gases were measured by Campact 3 device. Finally, the cortisol level was measured by
ELISA method and HbA and F levels were investigated by capillary electrophoresis.
Results: The blood gases and Apgar scores were more favorable in term newborns (P <0.001). Levels
of protein/expression of HbF in newborns with Apgar score greater than 7 was lower than that of the
newborns with Apgar score below 7 (P <0.001). Cortisol and HbA levels were considerably higher in
term newborns compared to the preterm ones (P <0.001). In the preterm and term groups, SKA2 gene
expression had a positive and significant relationship with cortisol and HbA levels as well as a negative
relationship with the HbF level. In the preterm group, a positive and significant relationship was
observed between the expression of SKA2 and HbF genes.
Conclusion: The results revealed that the SKA2 gene affected hematopoietic maturation in preterm
and term newborns and the health outcome of newborns improved by increasing HbA level.