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Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Mar;133:254-261. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.07.001. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

Placental iron transport: The mechanism and regulatory circuits.

Author information

1
Center for Iron Disorders, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 LeConte Ave, CHS 37-131, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Electronic address: vsangkhae@mednet.ucla.edu.
2
Center for Iron Disorders, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 LeConte Ave, CHS 37-131, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Electronic address: enemeth@mednet.ucla.edu.

Abstract

As the interface between the fetal and maternal circulation, the placenta facilitates both nutrient and waste exchange for the developing fetus. Iron is essential for healthy pregnancy, and transport of iron across the placenta is required for fetal growth and development. Perturbation of this transfer can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Despite its importance, our understanding of how a large amount of iron is transported across placental membranes, how this process is regulated, and which iron transporter proteins function in different placental cells remains rudimentary. Mechanistic studies in mouse models, including placenta-specific deletion or overexpression of iron-related proteins will be essential to make progress. This review summarizes our current understanding about iron transport across the syncytiotrophoblast under physiological conditions and identifies areas for further investigation.

KEYWORDS:

Iron; Placenta; Pregnancy

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