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Placental mobilization of free fatty acids contributes to altered materno-fetal transfer in obesity

Placental mobilization of free fatty acids contributes to altered materno-fetal transfer in obesity
Placental mobilization of free fatty acids contributes to altered materno-fetal transfer in obesity

BACKGROUND: Metabolic changes in obese pregnant women, such as changes of plasma lipids beyond physiological levels, may subsequently affect fetal development in utero. These metabolic derangements may remain in the offspring and continue throughout life. The placenta mediates bidirectional exchange of nutrients between mother and fetus. The impact of prepregnancy obesity on placental transfer of lipids is still unknown.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine materno-to-fetal free fatty acid (FFA) transfer by a combined experimental and modeling approach. Flux of 13C-labeled FFA was evaluated by ex vivo perfusion of human placentae as a function of prepregnancy obesity. Mathematical modeling complemented ex vivo results by providing FFA kinetic parameters.

RESULTS: Obesity was strongly associated with elevated materno-to-fetal transfer of applied 13C-FFA. Clearance of polyunsaturated 13C-docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was most prominently affected. The use of the mathematical model revealed a lower tissue storage capacity for DHA in obese compared with lean placentae.

CONCLUSION: Besides direct materno-to-fetal FFA transfer, placental mobilization accounts for the fetal FA supply. Together, with metabolic changes in the mother and an elevated materno-fetal FFA transfer shown in obesity, these changes suggest that they may be transmitted to the fetus, with yet unknown consequences.

0307-0565
1114-1123
Hirschmugl, Birgit
ca692409-549c-4419-b156-de715423d688
Perazzolo, Simone
bc5e3f83-6eb6-4ed6-9173-860a2d03817d
Sengers, Bram G
d6b771b1-4ede-48c5-9644-fa86503941aa
Lewis, Rohan M
caaeb97d-ea69-4f7b-8adb-5fa25e2d3502
Gruber, Michael
00eb5813-72f4-4a48-90d5-077d08bc0284
Desoye, Gernot
905d057f-c298-423a-9244-78b789ecdd68
Wadsack, Christian
dd320713-7a3a-4049-85fe-dfe0193d838c
Hirschmugl, Birgit
ca692409-549c-4419-b156-de715423d688
Perazzolo, Simone
bc5e3f83-6eb6-4ed6-9173-860a2d03817d
Sengers, Bram G
d6b771b1-4ede-48c5-9644-fa86503941aa
Lewis, Rohan M
caaeb97d-ea69-4f7b-8adb-5fa25e2d3502
Gruber, Michael
00eb5813-72f4-4a48-90d5-077d08bc0284
Desoye, Gernot
905d057f-c298-423a-9244-78b789ecdd68
Wadsack, Christian
dd320713-7a3a-4049-85fe-dfe0193d838c

Hirschmugl, Birgit, Perazzolo, Simone, Sengers, Bram G, Lewis, Rohan M, Gruber, Michael, Desoye, Gernot and Wadsack, Christian (2021) Placental mobilization of free fatty acids contributes to altered materno-fetal transfer in obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 45 (5), 1114-1123. (doi:10.1038/s41366-021-00781-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Metabolic changes in obese pregnant women, such as changes of plasma lipids beyond physiological levels, may subsequently affect fetal development in utero. These metabolic derangements may remain in the offspring and continue throughout life. The placenta mediates bidirectional exchange of nutrients between mother and fetus. The impact of prepregnancy obesity on placental transfer of lipids is still unknown.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine materno-to-fetal free fatty acid (FFA) transfer by a combined experimental and modeling approach. Flux of 13C-labeled FFA was evaluated by ex vivo perfusion of human placentae as a function of prepregnancy obesity. Mathematical modeling complemented ex vivo results by providing FFA kinetic parameters.

RESULTS: Obesity was strongly associated with elevated materno-to-fetal transfer of applied 13C-FFA. Clearance of polyunsaturated 13C-docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was most prominently affected. The use of the mathematical model revealed a lower tissue storage capacity for DHA in obese compared with lean placentae.

CONCLUSION: Besides direct materno-to-fetal FFA transfer, placental mobilization accounts for the fetal FA supply. Together, with metabolic changes in the mother and an elevated materno-fetal FFA transfer shown in obesity, these changes suggest that they may be transmitted to the fetus, with yet unknown consequences.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 February 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 February 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 447459
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/447459
ISSN: 0307-0565
PURE UUID: 7409ba2f-4736-4278-ac33-7578947fd0c4
ORCID for Bram G Sengers: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5859-6984
ORCID for Rohan M Lewis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4044-9104

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Date deposited: 11 Mar 2021 17:37
Last modified: 15 Sep 2021 01:51

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