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Human placental arterial distensibility, birth weight, and body size are positively related to fetal homocysteine concentration

D'Souza, Stephen W., Solanky, Nita, Guarino, Jane, Moat, Stuart, Sibley, Colin P., Taggart, Michael and Glazier, Jocelyn D. 2017. Human placental arterial distensibility, birth weight, and body size are positively related to fetal homocysteine concentration. Reproductive Sciences 24 (7) , pp. 1070-1078. 10.1177/1933719116678694

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Methionine demethylation during metabolism generates homocysteine (Hcy) and its remethylation requires folate and cobalamin. Elevated Hcy concentrations are associated with vascular-related complications of pregnancy, including increased vascular stiffness, predictive of clinical vascular disease. Maternal and fetal total Hcy (tHcy) concentrations are positively related, yet the influence of Hcy on fetoplacental vascular function in normal pregnancy has not been examined. We hypothesized that Hcy alters fetoplacental vascular characteristics with influences on fetal growth outcomes. We investigated (1) placental chorionic plate artery distensibility and neonatal blood pressure in relation to umbilical plasma tHcy; (2) relationships between cord venous (CV) and cord arterial (CA) plasma tHcy, folate, and cobalamin concentrations; and (3) tHcy associations with birth weight and anthropometric measurements of body size as indices of fetal growth in normal pregnancies with appropriate weight-for-gestational age newborns. Maternal plasma tHcy, folate, and cobalamin concentrations were consistent with published data. Placental chorionic plate artery distensibility index (β; measure of vessel stiffness) was inversely related to CA tHcy, yet neonatal blood pressure was not significantly affected. CV and CA tHcy concentrations were positively related and CV tHcy negatively related to CV cobalamin but not folate. CV tHcy concentration positively related to birth weight, corrected birth weight percentile, length, head circumference, and mid-arm circumference of newborns. CV cobalamin was inversely related to fetal growth indices but not to folate concentration. Our study demonstrates a potential relationship between fetal tHcy and placental artery distensibility, placing clinical relevance to cobalamin in influencing Hcy concentration and maintaining low vascular resistance to facilitate nutrient exchange favorable to fetal growth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 1933-7191
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 July 2018
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 04:44

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