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Pediatr Res. 2006 Feb;59(2):250-3.

Placental LPL gene expression is increased in severe intrauterine growth-restricted pregnancies.

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Department of Medicine Surgery and Dentistry, University of Milano, Italy.


Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with reduced placental supply of nutrients to the fetus. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) mediates the hydrolysis of triglycerides from maternal lipoproteins to obtain fatty acids. Here, we tested the hypothesis that placental LPL gene expression level is altered in pregnancies complicated by IUGR. To this purpose, 28 IUGR fetuses were identified during pregnancy and divided in two groups: 7 M-IUGR ["mild" IUGR, with normal umbilical artery pulsatility index (PI)] and 21 S-IUGR ("severe" IUGR, with abnormal PI). Moreover, 10 out of 28 IUGR pregnancies were associated with preeclampsia. Controls were 19 normal pregnancies delivering appropriate for gestational age (AGA) fetuses. Relative real-time quantification of LPL was carried out in RNA from placental chorionic villi by the DeltaDeltaCt method, using beta-actin as normalizing gene. Placental LPL mRNA expression levels were significantly higher in IUGR than in AGA. In particular, significantly higher values were observed in S-IUGR, independent from the concomitant association with preeclampsia. No significant relationship was observed between placental LPL mRNA expression levels or gestational age. In conclusion, placental LPL mRNA gene expression is increased in severe IUGR, characterized by enhanced vascular placental resistances and alterations of placental nutrient transport.

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