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Type: Journal article
Title: Alterations to placental glucocorticoid receptor expression with alcohol consumption
Author: Young, S.L.
Saif, Z.
Meakin, A.S.
McMaster, E.S.
Hayes, N.
Gallo, L.A.
Reid, N.
Moritz, K.M.
Clifton, V.L.
Citation: Reproductive Sciences, 2021; 28(5):1390-1402
Publisher: Springer Science
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1933-7191
Statement of
S. L. Young, Z. Saif, A. S. Meakin, E. S. McMaster, N. Hayes, L. A. Gallo, N. Reid, K. M. Moritz & V. L. Clifton
Abstract: Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in elevated vulnerability to intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Many of the detrimental effects of fetal alcohol exposure may be mediated through placental dysfunction; however, the exact mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we aimed to determine the effect of maternal alcohol exposure prior to and during early pregnancy on placental glucocorticoid receptor (GR) isoforms, associated GR regulated genes, and infant outcomes. Participants carrying singleton fetuses (n = 113) were recruited during early pregnancy. Amount and type of alcohol consumed over the last 12 months were obtained at 18 weeks of gestation. The level of drinking was separated into none (0 g/day), low (< 10 g/day), moderate (10–100 g/day), and heavy (> 100 g/day). At delivery, placental weight, infant sex, birthweight, and head circumference were recorded. Placental GR isoforms and genes involved in downstream signalling pathways were quantified. The majority of women (70.8%) consumed alcohol. Of these, most consumed low (48.8%) or moderate (37.5%) amounts. Placental weight was unaffected by alcohol consumption, but infants born to heavy drinkers tended to be lighter at birth. In female, but not male, placentae, maternal alcohol consumption resulted in increased GRαC and decreased GRαD1 cytoplasmic expression. In both female and male placentae, a dampened inflammatory response was evident with maternal alcohol consumption, involving downregulated IL6R and upregulated POU2F2 gene expression, respectively. Maternal alcohol consumption in the months prior to, and/or during early, pregnancy alters placental GR isoform and expression of some inflammatory genes in a sex-specific manner.
Keywords: Placenta
Birth Weight
Protein Isoforms
Receptors, Glucocorticoid
Alcohol Drinking
Gene Expression
Young Adult
Description: Published: 06 January 2021
Rights: © Society for Reproductive Investigation 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s43032-020-00413-1
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