Evidence for Fatty Acid Oxidation in Human Placenta, and the Relationship of Fatty Acid Oxidation Enzyme Activities with Gestational Age

Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Placenta (Impact Factor: 2.71). 06/2002; 23(5):447-50. DOI: 10.1053/plac.2002.0808
Source: PubMed


Fetal disorders of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation have recently been associated with obstetric complications including pre-eclampsia, Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelets (HELLP) syndrome, placental floor infarct, and Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP). These diseases occur in about a third of the mothers who are heterozygous for a defect in long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) enzyme and who bear a fetus homozygous for the defect. The mechanism of this association is not clearly understood. In this study, we provide evidence that the placenta may be the site of production of toxic intermediates of fatty acid metabolism, which accumulate to cause liver damage in the mother. We show that two critical enzymes of long chain fatty acid metabolism, long chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and short chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCHAD), are active in the normal human placenta. There is an inverse correlation between the enzyme activity of both the enzymes and maternal gestational age during the second and third trimesters. We believe that the demonstration of fatty acid oxidation enzyme activity by the placenta is the first step towards assessing a possible role for fetal/placental fatty acid oxidation defects in the pathogenesis of a subset of pregnancy complications.

25 Reads
  • Source
    • "For example, PE is associated with abnormal lipid metabolism, including fatty acid oxidation metabolism [10]. Fatty acids play an important role during pregnancy as metabolic fuel for the placenta [11]. When fatty acid oxidation is defective or diminished an increase in plasma acylcarnitine levels can be observed. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To expand the search for preeclampsia (PE) metabolomics biomarkers through the analysis of acylcarnitines in first-trimester maternal serum. Methods: This was a nested case-control study using serum from pregnant women, drawn between 8 and 14 weeks of gestational age. Metabolites were measured using an UPLC-MS/MS based method. Concentrations were compared between controls (n = 500) and early-onset- (EO-) PE (n = 68) or late-onset- (LO-) PE (n = 99) women. Metabolites with a false discovery rate <10% for both EO-PE and LO-PE were selected and added to prediction models based on maternal characteristics (MC), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and previously established biomarkers (PAPPA, PLGF, and taurine). Results: Twelve metabolites were significantly different between EO-PE women and controls, with effect levels between -18% and 29%. For LO-PE, 11 metabolites were significantly different with effect sizes between -8% and 24%. Nine metabolites were significantly different for both comparisons. The best prediction model for EO-PE consisted of MC, MAP, PAPPA, PLGF, taurine, and stearoylcarnitine (AUC = 0.784). The best prediction model for LO-PE consisted of MC, MAP, PAPPA, PLGF, and stearoylcarnitine (AUC = 0.700). Conclusion: This study identified stearoylcarnitine as a novel metabolomics biomarker for EO-PE and LO-PE. Nevertheless, metabolomics-based assays for predicting PE are not yet suitable for clinical implementation.
    Disease markers 07/2015; 2015:1-8. DOI:10.1155/2015/857108 · 1.56 Impact Factor
    • "Indeed, a premature (or untimely) shift towards the proinflammatory conditions has been associated with cases of spontaneous abortion and preterm delivery [Challis et al. 2009]. Increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF alpha, IL6, and IL8 have also been reported in PE cases [Rakheja et al. 2002; Sattar et al. 1996]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-γ) belongs to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. Apart from being involved in lipid metabolism, like its other subtypes PPAR α and β, it is implicated to be crucial for successful placentation. While its role in extravillous trophoblast (EVT) differentiation has been studied, the involvement in villous trophoblast (VT) differentiation, fatty-acid metabolism, inflammatory responses, and oxidative pathways during pregnancy deserves more attention. PPAR-γ's potential role in balancing structural development and functional responsibilities at the maternal-fetal interface suggest a more central role for the receptor. The central role of PPAR-γ in pathways related to placental pathologies suggests a potential role of PPAR-γ in placental function. The molecular regulation of PPAR-γ in this context has been widely disregarded. In this review, we discuss the less explored functions of PPAR-γ in the areas of immunological responses and management of oxidative stress in the placenta. We also shed light on the involvement of PPAR-γ in pathologic pregnancies and briefly discuss the current models in the field. The ability to modulate PPAR-γ's activity using already available drugs makes it a tempting therapeutic target. Elucidation of the molecular pathways and specific targets regulated by PPAR-γ will provide more information on the role of PPAR-γ in placentation and related disorders in pregnancy. Furthermore it will close the critical gap in our knowledge about the differential regulation of PPAR-γ in the two trophoblast lineages. This will help to evaluate the usefulness and timing of PPAR-γ modulation in at risk pregnancies to improve placental and endothelial function.
    Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine 12/2014; 61(2):1-7. DOI:10.3109/19396368.2014.991881 · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "FAO had previously been proposed as an important metabolic pathway involved in support of the function of the placenta [30]–[33]. It has been proposed that decreased placental FAO is a contributing factor to the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia [34], [35] which is consistent with the results of our study showing that mitochondrial FAO was significantly reduced (by 20%) in the pre-eclampsia group compared to the control group. HADHA, HADHB and ACADVL, the critical acyl-CoA dehydrogenases that catalyze the initial step in the FAO pathway [31], were identified and their expression levels were all reduced in the pre-elcamptic group as previously reported [30]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pre-eclampsia (PE), a severe pregnancy-specific disease characterized by the new onset of hypertension, proteinuria, edema, and a series of other systematic disorders, is a state of widespread mitochondrial dysfunction of the placenta. We compared the morphology of mitochondria in pre-eclamptic and normotensive placentae using electron microscopy. To reveal the systematic protein expression changes of placental mitochondria that might explain the pathogenesis of PE, we performed iTRAQ analysis combined with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) on differentially expressed placental mitochondria proteins from 4 normotensive and 4 pre-eclamptic pregnancies. Bioinformatics analysis was used to find the relative processes that these differentially expressed proteins were involved in. Three differentially expressed proteins were chosen to confirm by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Morphological data demonstrated degenerative and apoptotic changes in the mitochondria of pre-eclamptic placentae. We found four proteins were upregulated and 22 proteins were downregulated in pre-eclamptic placentae compared with normotensive placentae. Bioinformatics analysis showed that these proteins were involved in many critical processes in the development of pre-eclampsia such as apoptosis, fatty acid oxidation, the respiratory chain, reactive oxygen species generation, the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative stress. This preliminary work provides a better understanding of the proteomic alterations of mitochondria from pre-eclamptic placentae and may aid in our understanding of the importance of mitochondria in the development of pre-eclampsia.
    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e64351. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0064351 · 3.23 Impact Factor
Show more

Similar Publications