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7 March 2017 Placental transporter localization and expression in the Human: the importance of species, sex, and gestational age differences
Natasha Walker, Panagiotis Filis, Ugo Soffientini, Michelle Bellingham, Peter J O'Shaughnessy, Paul A Fowler
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Abstract

The placenta is a critical organ during pregnancy, essential for the provision of an optimal intrauterine environment, with fetal survival, growth, and development relying on correct placental function. It must allow nutritional compounds and relevant hormones to pass into the fetal bloodstream and metabolic waste products to be cleared. It also acts as a semipermeable barrier to potentially harmful chemicals, both endogenous and exogenous. Transporter proteins allow for bidirectional transport and are found in the syncytiotrophoblast of the placenta and endothelium of fetal capillaries. The major transporter families in the human placenta are ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC), and insufficiency of these transporters may lead to deleterious effects on the fetus. Transporter expression levels are gestation-dependent and this is of considerable clinical interest as levels of drug resistance may be altered from one trimester to the next. This highlights the importance of these transporters in mediating correct and timely transplacental passage of essential compounds but also for efflux of potentially toxic drugs and xenobiotics. We review the current literature on placental molecular transporters with respect to their localization and ontogeny, the influence of fetal sex, and the relevance of animal models. We conclude that a paucity of information exists, and further studies are required to unlock the enigma of this dynamic organ.

Summary Sentence

This review summarises the existing knowledge of human placental molecular transporters (SLC and ABC superfamilies). We highlight areas where greater andmore accurate knowledge is required and discuss weaknesses of animal models for the human.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Natasha Walker, Panagiotis Filis, Ugo Soffientini, Michelle Bellingham, Peter J O'Shaughnessy, and Paul A Fowler "Placental transporter localization and expression in the Human: the importance of species, sex, and gestational age differences," Biology of Reproduction 96(4), 733-742, (7 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox012
Received: 17 November 2016; Accepted: 3 March 2017; Published: 7 March 2017
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