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Decreased Fatty Acid Transporter FABP1 and Increased Isoprostanes and Neuroprostanes in the Human Term Placenta: Implications for Inflammation and Birth Weight in Maternal Pre-Gestational Obesity

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Belcastro, Livia 
Ferreira, Carolina S. 
Saraiva, Marcelle A. 
Mucci, Daniela B. 
Murgia, Antonio 


The rise in prevalence of obesity in women of reproductive age in developed and developing countries might propagate intergenerational cycles of detrimental effects on metabolic health. Placental lipid metabolism is disrupted by maternal obesity, which possibly affects the life-long health of the offspring. Here, we investigated placental lipid metabolism in women with pre-gestational obesity as a sole pregnancy complication and compared it to placental responses of lean women. Open profile and targeted lipidomics were used to assess placental lipids and oxidised products of docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), respectively, neuroprostanes and isoprostanes. Despite no overall signs of lipid accumulation, DHA and AA levels in placentas from obese women were, respectively, 2.2 and 2.5 times higher than those from lean women. Additionally, a 2-fold increase in DHA-derived neuroprostanes and a 1.7-fold increase in AA-derived isoprostanes were seen in the obese group. These changes correlated with a 70% decrease in placental FABP1 protein. Multivariate analyses suggested that neuroprostanes and isoprostanes are associated with maternal and placental inflammation and with birth weight. These results might shed light on the molecular mechanisms associated with altered placental fatty acid metabolism in maternal pre-gestational obesity, placing these oxidised fatty acids as novel mediators of placental function.



maternal pre-gestational obesity, placenta, lipid metabolism, fatty acid transporter proteins, isoprostanoids, neuroprostanes, isoprostanes, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid

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Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (E-26/110.111/2014, E-026/203.254/2017)
Isaac Newton Trust (18.07(k))
Global Challenges Research Fund (102642/A19819)
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (001)
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (G.M.)