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Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with reduced placental amino acid transport (AAT). However, it remains to be established if changes in AAT contribute to restricted fetal growth. We hypothesized that reduced in vivo placental AAT precedes the development of IUGR in baboons with maternal nutrient restriction (MNR). Baboons were fed either a control (ad libitum) or MNR diet (70% of control diet) from gestational day (GD) 30. At GD 140, in vivo transplacental AA transport was measured by infusing nine (13)C- or (2)H-labeled essential amino acids (EAAs) as a bolus into the maternal circulation at cesarean section. A fetal vein-to-maternal artery mole percent excess ratio for each EAA was measured. Microvillous plasma membrane (MVM) system A and system L transport activity were determined. Fetal and placental weights were not significantly different between MNR and control. In vivo, the fetal vein-to-maternal artery mole percent excess ratio was significantly decreased for tryptophan in MNR. MVM system A and system L activity was markedly reduced in MNR. Reduction of in vivo placental amino acid transport precedes fetal growth restriction in the non-human primate, suggesting that reduced placental amino acid transfer may contribute to IUGR.


Fredrick J Rosario, Anita Kramer, Cun Li, Henry L Galan, Theresa L Powell, Peter W Nathanielsz, Thomas Jansson. Reduction of In Vivo Placental Amino Acid Transport Precedes the Development of Intrauterine Growth Restriction in the Non-Human Primate. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 23;13(8)

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PMID: 34445051

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