Author(s): Chauvin S, Yinon Y, Xu J, Ermini L, Sallais J,
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Abstract CONTEXT: Sphingolipids function as key bioactive mediators that regulate cell fate events in a variety of systems. Disruptions in sphingolipid metabolism characterize several human pathologies. OBJECTIVE: In the present study we examined sphingolipid metabolism in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a severe disorder complicating 4-7\% of pregnancies at increased risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality, which is characterized by placental dysfunction and augmented trophoblast cell death rates. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Placentae from early severe IUGR with documented abnormal umbilical artery Doppler defined as absence or reverse of end diastolic velocity and a birth weight below the fifth percentile for gestational age were collected (n = 58). Placental tissues obtained from healthy, age-matched preterm and term deliveries (n = 46; TC, n=28) were included as controls. RESULTS: Sphingolipid analysis by tandem mass spectrometry revealed elevated sphingosine and decreased ceramide levels in placentae from pregnancies complicated by IUGR relative to age-matched controls. Sphingosine accumulation was due to accelerated ceramide breakdown via increased acid ceramidase (ASAH1) expression/activity caused by augmented TGFβ signalling via the ALK5/SMAD2 pathway. In addition, a marked reduction in sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) expression/activity due to impaired TGFβ signalling via ALK1/SMAD1 contributed to the sphingosine buildup in IUGR. Of clinical significance, ALK/SMAD signalling pathways were differentially altered in IUGR placentae. CONCLUSIONS: Altered TGFβ signalling in IUGR placentae causes dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism, which may contribute to the increased trophoblast cell death typical of this pathology.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access