The placenta protects the fetal circulation from anxiety-driven elevations in maternal serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Garay, Samantha M.
Sumption, Lorna A.
Nature Publishing Group UK
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Dingsdale, H., Nan, X., Garay, S. M., Mueller, A., Sumption, L. A., Chacón-Fernández, P., Martinez-Garay, I., et al. (2021). The placenta protects the fetal circulation from anxiety-driven elevations in maternal serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Translational Psychiatry, 11 (1) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01176-8
Funder: European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement 663830
Funder: Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru programme
Funder: NHS Blood and Transplant
Abstract: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays crucial roles in brain function. Numerous studies report alterations in BDNF levels in human serum in various neurological conditions, including mood disorders such as depression. However, little is known about BDNF levels in the blood during pregnancy. We asked whether maternal depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy were associated with altered serum BDNF levels in mothers (n = 251) and their new-born infants (n = 212). As prenatal exposure to maternal mood disorders significantly increases the risk of neurological conditions in later life, we also examined the possibility of placental BDNF transfer by developing a new mouse model. We found no association between maternal symptoms of depression and either maternal or infant cord blood serum BDNF. However, maternal symptoms of anxiety correlated with significantly raised maternal serum BDNF exclusively in mothers of boys (r = 0.281; P = 0.005; n = 99). Serum BDNF was significantly lower in male infants than female infants but neither correlated with maternal anxiety symptoms. Consistent with this observation, we found no evidence for BDNF transfer across the placenta. We conclude that the placenta protects the developing fetus from maternal changes in serum BDNF that could otherwise have adverse consequences for fetal development.
Article, /692/699/476/1414, /631/477, /64/60, /82/80, /38/1, /38, /64, article
RCUK | Medical Research Council (MRC) (MR/N013794/1)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) (MU 4099/1-1)
RCUK | Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (BB/S002359/1)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01176-8
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/316342
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/