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Reprod Sci. 2013 Dec;20(12):1492-507. doi: 10.1177/1933719113488442. Epub 2013 May 7.

L-methionine placental uptake: characterization and modulation in gestational diabetes mellitus.

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1Department of Biochemistry (U38-FCT), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.


Our aim was to investigate the influence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and GDM-associated conditions upon the placental uptake of (14)C-l-methionine ((14)C-l-Met). The (14)C-l-Met uptake by human trophoblasts (TBs) obtained from normal pregnancies (normal trophoblast [NTB] cells) is mainly system l-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1 [L])-mediated, although a small contribution of system y(+)LAT2 is also present. Comparison of (14)C-l-Met uptake by NTB and by human TBs obtained from GDM pregnancies (diabetic trophoblast [DTB] cells) reveals similar kinetics, but a contribution of systems A, LAT2, and b(0+) and a greater contribution of system y(+)LAT1 appears to exist in DTB cells. Short-term exposure to insulin and long-term exposure to high glucose, tumor necrosis factor-α, and leptin decrease (14)C-l-Met uptake in a human TB (Bewo) cell line. The effect of leptin was dependent upon phosphoinositide 3-kinase, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK/MEK 1/2), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. In conclusion, GDM does not quantitatively alter (14)C-l-Met placental uptake, although it changes the nature of transporters involved in that process.


l-methionine; gestational diabetes; placenta; transport

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