Maternal Calorie Restriction Causing Uteroplacental Insufficiency Differentially Affects Mammalian Placental Glucose and Leucine Transport Molecular Mechanisms

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We examined the effect of mild (Mi; ∼25%) and moderate (Mo; ∼50%) maternal calorie restriction (MCR) vs ad libitum-fed controls on placental glucose and leucine transport impacting fetal growth potential. We observed in MiMCR a compensatory increase in transplacental (TP) glucose transport due to increased placental glucose transporter isoform (GLUT)-3 but no change in GLUT1 protein concentrations. This change was paralleled by increased glut3 mRNA and 5-hydroxymethylated cytosines with enhanced recruitment of histone 3 lysine demethylase to the glut3 gene locus. To assess the biologic relevance of placental GLUT1, we also examined glut1 heterozygous null vs wild-type mice and observed no difference in placental GLUT3 and TP or intraplacental glucose and leucine transport. Both MCR states led to a graded decrease in TP and intraplacental leucine transport, with a decline in placental L amino acid transporter isoform 2 (LAT2) concentrations and increased microRNA-149 (targets LAT2) and microRNA-122 (targets GLUT3) expression in MoMCR alone. These changes were accompanied by a step-wise reduction in uterine and umbilical artery Doppler blood flow with decreased fetal left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening. We conclude that MiMCR transactivates placental GLUT3 toward preserving TP glucose transport in the face of reduced leucine transport. This contrasts MoMCR in which a reduction in placental GLUT3 mediated glucose transport with a reciprocal increase in miR-122 expression was encountered. A posttranscriptional reduction in LAT2-mediated leucine transport also occurred with enhanced miR-149 expression. Both MCR states, although not affecting placental GLUT1, resulted in uteroplacental insufficiency and fetal growth restriction with compromised cardiovascular health.

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