Differential Regulation of Glucose Transporters Mediated by CRH Receptor Type 1 and Type 2 in Human Placental Trophoblasts

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Glucose transport across the placenta is mediated by glucose transporters (GLUT), which is critical for normal development and survival of the fetus. Regulatory mechanisms of GLUT in placenta have not been elucidated. Placental CRH has been implicated to play a key role in the control of fetal growth and development. We hypothesized that CRH, produced locally in placenta, could act to modulate GLUT in placenta. To investigate this, we obtained human placentas from uncomplicated term pregnancies and isolated and cultured trophoblast cells. GLUT1 and GLUT3 expressions in placenta were determined, and effects of CRH on GLUT1 and GLUT3 were examined. GLUT1 and GLUT3 were identified in placental villous syncytiotrophoblasts and the endothelium of vessels. Treatment of cultured placental trophoblasts with CRH resulted in an increase in GLUT1 expression while a decrease in GLUT3 expression in a dose-dependent manner. Cells treated with either CRH antibody or nonselective CRH receptor (CRH-R) antagonist astressin showed a decrease in GLUT1 and an increase in GLUT3 expression. CRH-R1 antagonist antalarmin decreased GLUT1 expression while increased GLUT3 expression. CRH-R2 antagonist astressin2b increased the expression of both GLUT1 and GLUT3. Knockdown of CRH-R1 decreased GLUT1 expression while increased GLUT3 expression. CRH-R2 knockdown caused an increase in both GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression. Our data suggest that, in placenta, CRH produced locally regulates GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression, CRHR1 and CRHR2-mediated differential regulation of GLUT1 and GLUT3 expression. Placental CRH may regulate the growth of fetus and placenta by modulating the expression of GLUT in placenta during pregnancy.

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