Differential Expression of System L Amino Acid Transporter Subtypes in Rat Placenta and Yolk Sac

Wejdan Owaydhah, Nicholas Ashton, François Verrey, Jocelyn Glazier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Amino acid transport across the placenta is crucial for fetal growth. In rodent models, the visceral yolk sac (referred to as yolk sac hereafter) is also likely to contribute to fetal amino acid provision. System L amino acid transporters mediate the transport of essential amino acids. System L activity is mediated by light chains LAT1 (Slc7a5) and LAT2 (Slc7a8) which form functional complexes by heterodimeric linkage to CD98 (Slc3a2). LAT4 (Slc43a2) is monomeric, possessing overlapping amino acid substrate specificity with LAT1 and LAT2.
Methods: This study investigates the expression of these LAT subtypes in fetus-matched rat placenta and yolk sac.
Results: Slc7a5, Slc7a8 and Slc43a2 transcripts were expressed in placenta and yolk sac with similar expression patterns between sexes. LAT1 expression was significantly higher in placenta than yolk sac. Conversely, LAT2 and LAT4 expression was significantly higher in yolk sac than placenta; CD98 expression was comparable. LAT1, LAT2, LAT4 and CD98 were distributed to rat placental labyrinth zone (LZ) and junctional zone (JZ). LAT1 and LAT4 demonstrated higher expression in LZ, whilst LAT2 was more intensely distributed to JZ. LAT1, LAT2, LAT4 and CD98 were expressed in yolk sac, with punctate LAT1 staining to endodermal cell cytoplasm, contrasting with the intense LAT2, LAT4 and CD98 endodermal cell basolateral distribution, accounting for greater LAT2 and LAT4 expression in yolk sac compared to placenta.
Conclusion: LAT1, LAT2 and LAT4 are expressed in rat placenta and yolk sac implicating a combined role for these LAT subtypes in supporting fetal growth and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Early online date29 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • CD98
  • Endodermal cell
  • Junctional zone
  • LAT1
  • LAT2
  • LAT4
  • Labyrinth


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential Expression of System L Amino Acid Transporter Subtypes in Rat Placenta and Yolk Sac'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this