This study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Guangdong Triple-Nine Brain Hospital (recruitment of 14 children with autism spectrum disorder [ASD] and 14 healthy children, 2–10 years of age) and Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University (recruitment of pregnant women). Informed consent was obtained from the pregnant women and the guardians of the children. The peripheral blood of pregnant women was collected, as follows: 24+0–32+6 gestational weeks (GWs [n = 20]); and 33+0–39+6 GWs (n = 20). EXs were isolated from plasma samples and subjected to RNA-seq. A minimum of 30 healthy pregnancies collected on a weekly basis at each GW from the 11th- 40th GW were subjected to SVATs assessment. Plasma from 38 sPTBs, 34 women with GDM, and 19 women with PE in the third trimester (34 GW for sPTB and 34–35 GW for PE and GDM) were retrospectively used as case-controls.

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