Maternal obesity alters placental lysophosphatidylcholines, lipid storage, and the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism

Katie L. Bidne, Alana L. Rister, Andrea R. McCain, Brianna D. Hitt, Eric D. Dodds, Jennifer R. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dyslipidemia is a characteristic of maternal obesity and previous studies have demonstrated abnormalities in fatty acid oxidation and storage in term placentas. However, there is little information about the effect of pre-pregnancy obesity on placental lipid metabolism during early pregnancy. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between lipid profiles and markers of metabolism in placentas from obese and lean dams at midgestation. Mice were fed a western diet (WD) or normal diet (ND) and lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) and/or phosphatidylcholines (PCs) were measured in dam circulation and placenta sections using liquid chromatography-Tandem mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry imaging, respectively. In WD dam, circulating LPCs containing 16:1, 18:1, 20:0, and 20:3 fatty acids were increased and 18:2 and 20:4 were decreased. In WD placenta from both sexes, LPC 18:1 and PC 36:1 and 38:3 were increased. Furthermore, there were moderate to strong correlations between LPC 18:1, PC 36:1, and PC 38:3. Treatment-, spatial-, and sex-dependent differences in LPC 20:1 and 20:3 were also detected. To identify genes that may regulate diet-dependent differences in placenta lipid profiles, the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism and nutrient transport was measured in whole placenta and isolated labyrinth using droplet digital PCR and Nanostring nCounter assays. Several apolipoproteins were increased in WD placentas. However, no differences in nutrient transport or fatty acid metabolism were detected. Together, these data indicate that lipid storage is increased in midgestation WD placentas, which may lead to lipotoxicity, altered lipid metabolism and transport to the fetus later in gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalBiology of reproduction
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • developmental biology
  • metabolism
  • nutrition
  • placenta
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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