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Minerals are required for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy and regulation of fetal growth in mammals. Lentiviral-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) of chorionic somatomammotropin hormone (CSH) results in both an intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and a non-IUGR phenotype in sheep. This study determined the effects of CSH RNAi on the concentration and uptake of calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D, and the expression of candidate mRNAs known to mediate mineral signaling in caruncles (maternal component of placentome) and cotyledons (fetal component of placentome) on gestational day 132. CSH RNAi Non-IUGR pregnancies had a lower umbilical vein−umbilical artery calcium gradient (p < 0.05) and less cotyledonary calcium (p < 0.05) and phosphate (p < 0.05) compared to Control RNAi pregnancies. CSH RNAi IUGR pregnancies had less umbilical calcium uptake (p < 0.05), lower uterine arterial and venous concentrations of 25(OH)D (p < 0.05), and trends for lower umbilical 25(OH)D uptake (p = 0.059) compared to Control RNAi pregnancies. Furthermore, CSH RNAi IUGR pregnancies had decreased umbilical uptake of calcium (p < 0.05), less uterine venous 25(OH)D (vitamin D metabolite; p = 0.055), lower caruncular expression of SLC20A2 (sodium-dependent phosphate transporter; p < 0.05) mRNA, and lower cotyledonary expression of KL (klotho; p < 0.01), FGFR1 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 1; p < 0.05), FGFR2 (p < 0.05), and TRPV6 (transient receptor potential vanilloid member 6; p < 0.05) mRNAs compared to CSH RNAi Non-IUGR pregnancies. This study has provided novel insights into the regulatory role of CSH for calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D utilization in late gestation.


Claire Stenhouse, Katherine M Halloran, Amelia R Tanner, Larry J Suva, Paul J Rozance, Russell V Anthony, Fuller W Bazer. Uptake of Phosphate, Calcium, and Vitamin D by the Pregnant Uterus of Sheep in Late Gestation: Regulation by Chorionic Somatomammotropin Hormone. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Jul 14;23(14)

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PMID: 35887141

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