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Pediatr Res. 2013 Mar;73(3):277-85. doi: 10.1038/pr.2012.180. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Ovine uterine space restriction alters placental transferrin receptor and fetal iron status during late pregnancy.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Perinatal Research Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fetal growth restriction is reported to be associated with impaired placental iron transport. Transferrin receptor (TfR) is a major placental iron transporter in humans but has not been studied in sheep. TfR is regulated by both iron and nitric oxide (NO), the molecule produced by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We hypothesized that limited placental development downregulates both placental TfR and eNOS expression, thereby lowering fetal tissue iron.

METHODS:

An ovine surgical uterine space restriction (USR) model, combined with multifetal gestation, tested the extremes of uterine and placental adaptation. Blood, tissues, and placentomes from non-space restricted (NSR) singletons were compared with USR fetuses at gestational day (GD) 120 or 130.

RESULTS:

When expressed proportionate to fetal weight, liver iron content did not differ, whereas renal iron was higher in USR vs. NSR fetuses. Renal TfR protein expression did not differ, but placental TfR expression was lower in USR fetuses at GD130. Placental levels of TfR correlated to eNOS. TfR was localized throughout the placentome, including the hemophagous zone, implicating a role for TfR in ovine placental iron transport.

CONCLUSION:

Fetal iron was regulated in an organ-specific manner. In USR fetuses, NO-mediated placental adaptations may prevent the normal upregulation of placental TfR at GD130.

PMID:
23202722
PMCID:
PMC3678369
DOI:
10.1038/pr.2012.180
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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