Hulme, CH, Nicolaou, A, Murphy, SA, Heazell, AEP, Myers, JE and Westwood, M (2019) The effect of high glucose on lipid metabolism in the human placenta. Scientific Reports, 9 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) during pregnancy can result in fetal overgrowth, likely due to placental dysfunction, which has health consequences for the infant. Here we test our prediction from previous work using a placental cell line that high glucose concentrations affect placental lipid metabolism. Placentas from women with type 1 (n = 13), type 2 (n = 6) or gestational (n = 12) DM, BMI-matched to mothers without DM (n = 18), were analysed for lipase and fatty acid transport proteins and fatty acid and triglyceride content. Explants from uncomplicated pregnancies (n = 6) cultured in physiological or high glucose were similarly analysed. High glucose levels did not alter placental lipase or transporter expression or the profile and abundance of fatty acids, but triglyceride levels were higher (p < 0.05), suggesting reduced β- oxidation. DM did not affect placental protein expression or fatty acid profile. Triglyceride levels of placentas from mothers with pre-existing DM were similar to controls, but higher in obese women with gestational DM. Maternal hyperglycemia may not affect placental fatty acid uptake and transport. However, placental β-oxidation is affected by high glucose and reduced in a subset of women with DM. Abnormal placental lipid metabolism could contribute to increased maternal-fetal lipid transfer and excess fetal growth in some DM pregnancies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Glucose, metabolism, human, placenta, reproduction
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 09:05
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2020 10:49

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