Mechanisms Underpinning Adaptations In Placental Calcium Transport In Normal Mice And Those With Fetal Growth Restriction

Christina Hayward, Kirsty Mcintyre, Colin Sibley, Susan Greenwood, Mark Dilworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fetal delivery of calcium, via the placenta, is crucial for appropriate skeletal mineralization. We have previously demonstrated that maternofetal calcium transport, per gram placenta, is increased in the placental specific insulin-like growth factor 2 knockout mouse (P0) model of fetal growth restriction (FGR) compared to wild type littermates (WTL). This effect was mirrored in wild-type (WT) mice comparing lightest vs. heaviest (LvH) placentas in a litter. In both models increased placental calcium transport was associated with normalization of fetal calcium content. Despite this adaptation being observed in small normal (WT), and small dysfunctional (P0) placentas, mechanisms underpinning these changes remain unknown. Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), elevated in cord blood in FGR and known to stimulate plasma membrane calcium ATPase, might be important. We hypothesized that PTHrP expression would be increased in LvH WT placentas, and in P0 vs. WTL. We used calcium pathway-focused PCR arrays to assess whether mechanisms underpinning these adaptations in LvH WT placentas, and in P0 vs. WTL, were similar. PTHrP protein expression was not different between LvH WT placentas at E18.5 but trended toward increased expression (139%; P = 0.06) in P0 vs. WTL. PCR arrays demonstrated that four genes were differentially expressed in LvH WT placentas including increased expression of the calcium-binding protein calmodulin 1 (1.6-fold; P <0.05). Twenty-four genes were differentially expressed in placentas of P0 vs. WTL; significant reductions were observed in expression of S100 calcium binding protein G (2-fold; P <0.01), parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (1.7-fold; P <0.01) and PTHrP (2-fold; P <0.05), whilst serum/glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1), a regulator of nutrient transporters, was increased (1.4 fold; P <0.05). Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase 5 (TRAP5 encoded by Acp5) was reduced in placentas of both LvH WT and P0 vs. WTL (1.6- and 1.7-fold, respectively; P <0.05). Signaling events underpinning adaptations in calcium transport are distinct between LvH placentas of WT mice and those in P0 vs. WTL. Calcium binding proteins appear important in functional adaptations in the former whilst PTHrP and SGK1 are also implicated in the latter. These data facilitate understanding of mechanisms underpinning placental calcium transport adaptation in normal and growth restricted fetuses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Early online date20 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018


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