Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is an important risk factor for perinatal complications and adult disease. IUGR is associated with down-regulation of placental amino acid transporter expression and activity at birth. It is unknown whether these changes are a cause or a consequence of human IUGR. We hypothesized that placental amino acid transport capacity is reduced prior to onset of reduced fetal growth in baboons with maternal nutrient restriction (MNR). Pregnant baboons were fed either a control (n = 8) or MNR diet (70% of control diet, n = 9) from Gestational Day 30. At Gestational Day 120 (0.65 of gestation), fetuses and placentas were collected. Microvillous (MVM) and basal (BM) plasma membrane vesicles were isolated. System A and system L transport activity was determined in MVM, and leucine transporter activity was assessed in BM using radiolabeled substrates. MVM amino acid transporter isoform expression (SNAT1, SNAT2, and SNAT4 and LAT1 and LAT2) was measured using Western blots. LAT1 and LAT2 expression were also determined in BM. Maternal and fetal plasma amino acids concentrations were determined using mass spectrometry. Fetal and placental weights were unaffected by MNR. MVM system A activity was decreased by 37% in MNR baboon placentas (P = 0.03); however MVM system A amino acid transporter protein expression was unchanged. MVM system L activity and BM leucine transporter activity were not altered by MNR. Fetal plasma concentrations of essential amino acids isoleucine and leucine were reduced, while citrulline increased (P < 0.05) in MNR fetuses compared to controls. In this primate model of IUGR, placental MVM system A amino acid transporter activity is decreased prior to the onset of reduction in the fetal growth trajectory. The reduction in plasma leucine and isoleucine in MNR fetuses may be caused by reduced activity of MVM system A, which is strongly coupled with system L essential amino acid uptake. Our findings indicate that reduced placental amino acid transport may be a cause rather than a consequence of IUGR due to inadequate maternal nutrition.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 95 • No. 5