Reduced placental 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 mRNA levels in human pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction: an analysis of possible mechanisms.
ABSTRACT 11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11beta-HSD2) inactivates cortisol to cortisone. In the placenta 11beta-HSD2 activity is thought to protect the fetus from the deleterious effects of maternal glucocorticoids. Patients with apparent mineralocorticoid excess owing to mutations in the 11beta-HSD2 gene invariably have reduced birth weight, and we have recently shown reduced placental 11beta-HSD2 activity in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction. This is reflected in the literature by evidence of hypercortisolemia in the fetal circulation of small babies. In this study we have determined the levels of placental 11beta-HSD2 mRNA expression across normal gestation (n = 86 placentae) and in pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (n = 19) and evaluated the underlying mechanism for any aberrant 11beta-HSD2 mRNA expression in intrauterine growth restriction. 11beta-HSD2 mRNA expression increased more than 50-fold across gestation, peaking at term. Placental 11beta-HSD2 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in intrauterine growth restriction pregnancies when compared with gestationally matched, appropriately grown placentae [e.g. at term DeltaCt (11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2/18S) 12.8 +/- 0.8 (mean +/- SE) vs. 10.2 +/- 0.2, respectively, P < 0.001]. These differences were not attributable to changes in trophoblast mass in intrauterine growth restriction placentae, as assessed by parallel analyses of cytokeratin-8 mRNA expression. No mutations were found in the 11beta-HSD2 gene in the intrauterine growth restriction cohort, and imprinting analysis revealed that the 11beta-HSD2 gene was not imprinted. Although the underlying cause is unknown, 11beta-HSD2 gene expression is reduced in intrauterine growth restriction pregnancies. These data highlight the important role of 11beta-HSD2 in regulating fetal growth, a known factor in determining fetal morbidity but also the subsequent development of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
Article: Gene expression patterns of the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 enzyme in human placenta from intrauterine growth restriction: the role of impaired feto-maternal glucocorticoid metabolism.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To assess 11-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD2) gene expression patterns in human placental samples from intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) pregnancies using normal pregnancy as control. We compared 11-β-HSD2 gene expression in placental samples from all IUGR pregnancies treated in our clinic between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011 vs. 140 normal pregnancy samples from the same study period. Clinical characteristics were also assessed and compared between the IUGR and normal pregnancy groups. Mean gestational weight gain in the IUGR group was significantly lower than in the control group. Similarly, change in body mass index (BMI) was lower. Impending intrauterine fetal asphyxia was significantly more common in the IUGR group. The 11β-HSD2 gene was underexpressed compared to controls, but this underexpression was only observed after the 33rd gestational week. Within the IUGR group, in cases of impending intrauterine fetal asphyxia the 11β-HSD2 gene was underexpressed compared to both impending asphyxia in non-IUGR cases, or IUGR without impending asphyxia. Low gestational weight gain appears to predict IUGR. The 11β-HSD2 gene in IUGR is underexpressed and may result in an impaired placental barrier, decreasing protection against maternal glucocorticoids, which are thought to be prominent in fetal programming. Maternal glucocorticoid exposure resulting from an impaired placental barrier may increase the risk for cardiovascular and metobolic disorders later in adult life. In IUGR, before the 33rd gestational week, the expression of the 11β-HSD2 gene remains physiological. The underexpression of this gene after the 33rd week in impending intrauterine fetal asphyxia in IUGR points to an increased sensitivity to hypoxia when impending asphyxia is present in the late phase of IUGR pregnancies.European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology 03/2012; 161(1):12-7. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Preterm birth remains a major health issue worldwide. Since the 1990s, women at risk for preterm birth received a single course of exogenous antenatal corticosteroids (ACSs) to facilitate fetal lung maturity. More recently, repeated or multiple courses of ACS have been supported to provide continued fetal maturity support for women with continued risk of preterm birth. However, exogenous ACS reduces birth weight which, in turn, is associated with adverse adult outcomes such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. The long-term effects of ACS exposure on HPA axis activity and neurological function are well documented in animal studies, and it appears that ACS, regardless of dose exposure, is capable of affecting fetal HPA axis development causing permanent changes in the HPA axis that persists through life and is manifested by chronic illness and behavioral changes. The challenge in human studies is to demonstrate whether an intervention such as ACS administration in pregnancy contributes to developmental programming and how this is manifested in later life.Journal of nutrition and metabolism 01/2012; 2012:930591.
Article: Caffeine reduces 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 expression in human trophoblast cells through the adenosine A(2B) receptor.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Maternal caffeine consumption is associated with reduced fetal growth, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. Since there is evidence that decreased placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2) is linked to fetal growth restriction, we hypothesized that caffeine may inhibit fetal growth partly through down regulating placental 11β-HSD2. As a first step in examining this hypothesis, we studied the effects of caffeine on placental 11β-HSD2 activity and expression using our established primary human trophoblast cells as an in vitro model system. Given that maternal serum concentrations of paraxanthine (the primary metabolite of caffeine) were greater in women who gave birth to small-for-gestational age infants than to appropriately grown infants, we also studied the effects of paraxanthine. Our main findings were: (1) both caffeine and paraxanthine decreased placental 11β-HSD2 activity, protein and mRNA in a concentration-dependent manner; (2) this inhibitory effect was mediated by the adenosine A(2B) receptor, since siRNA-mediated knockdown of this receptor prevented caffeine- and paraxanthine-induced inhibition of placental 11β-HSD2; and (3) forskolin (an activator of adenyl cyclase and a known stimulator of 11β-HSD2) abrogated the inhibitory effects of both caffeine and paraxanthine, which provides evidence for a functional link between exposure to caffeine and paraxanthine, decreased intracellular levels of cAMP and reduced placental 11β-HSD2. Taken together, these findings reveal that placental 11β-HSD2 is a novel molecular target through which caffeine may adversely affect fetal growth. They also uncover a previously unappreciated role for the adenosine A(2B) receptor signaling in regulating placental 11β-HSD2, and consequently fetal development.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38082. · 4.09 Impact Factor