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Placenta. 2014 Dec;35(12):1013-20. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2014.09.015. Epub 2014 Oct 5.

RNA-seq analysis of the rat placentation site reveals maternal obesity-associated changes in placental and offspring thyroid hormone signaling.

Author information

1
Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.
2
Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.
3
Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA. Electronic address: ShankarKartik@uams.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

In animal models, maternal obesity (OB) leads to augmented risk of offspring OB. While placental function is influenced by maternal habitus, the effect of maternal obesity on the interacting zones of the placenta [the labyrinth (LZ), junctional (JZ) and metrial gland (MG)] remains unknown.

METHODS:

Using a rat maternal obesity model, we conducted transcriptomic profiling of the utero-placental compartments and fetal liver (FL) at dpc 18.5, in conjunction with analyses of mRNA expression of key thyroid hormone (TH) signaling genes in the placenta, fetus and weanling offspring.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

Gene expression analysis of placenta and offspring revealed that each utero-placental compartment responds distinctly to maternal OB with changes in inflammatory signaling, lipid metabolism and hormone stimulus being the predominant effects. OB-induced alterations in 17 genes were confirmed by qPCR, including reductions in thyrotropin-releasing hormone (Trh) in JZ. We further characterized mRNA and protein expression of TH signaling regulators including deiodinases (Dio), TH receptors (Tr), and downstream targets (uncoupling proteins (Ucp)). A concerted down-regulation of multiple facets of thyroid hormone signaling in the JZ and FL was observed. JZ expression of thyroid hormone signaling components Trh, Dio2, Trα, and Ucp2 were negatively associated with maternal leptin. mRNA expression of TRH, TRβ and UCP1 were also decreased in term placenta from OB women. Finally, our studies identified persistent impairments in expression of TH related genes in tissues from offspring of obese dams.

CONCLUSIONS:

The role of lower placental thyroid expression is worthy of further study as a possible pathway that leads to low energy metabolism and obesity in animals born to obese mothers.

KEYWORDS:

Metabolism; Obesity; Placenta; RNA-seq; Thyroid hormone; Uncoupling proteins

PMID:
25449029
PMCID:
PMC4270847
DOI:
10.1016/j.placenta.2014.09.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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