Omega-3 fatty acid-derived resolvin D2 regulates human placental vascular smooth muscle and extravillous trophoblast activities

Arzu Ulu, Prakash K. Sahoo, Ana G. Yuil-Valdes, Maheswari Mukherjee, Matthew Van Ormer, Philma Glora Muthuraj, Maranda Thompson, Ann Anderson Berry, Corrine K. Hanson, Sathish Kumar Natarajan, Tara M. Nordgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Omega-3 fatty acids are important to pregnancy and neonatal development and health. One mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids exert their protective effects is through serving as substrates for the generation of specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPM) that potently limit and resolve inflammatory processes. We recently identified that SPM levels are increased in maternal blood at delivery as compared to umbilical cord blood, suggesting the placenta as a potential site of action for maternal SPM. To explore this hypothesis, we obtained human placental samples and stained for the SPM resolvin D2 (RvD2) receptor GPR18 via immunohistochemistry. In so doing, we identified GPR18 expression in placental vascular smooth muscle and extravillous trophoblasts of the placental tissues. Using in vitro culturing, we confirmed expression of GPR18 in these cell types and further identified that stimulation with RvD2 led to significantly altered responsiveness (cytoskeletal changes and pro-inflammatory cytokine production) to lipopolysaccharide inflammatory stimulation in human umbilical artery smooth muscle cells and placental trophoblasts. Taken together, these findings establish a role for SPM actions in human placental tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4402
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Delivery
  • GPR18
  • Inflammation
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Placenta
  • Resolvin D2
  • Specialized pro-resolving mediators
  • Trophoblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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