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Placental iodothyronine deiodinase expression in normal and growth-restricted human pregnancies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emma ClarkORCiD, Dr Judith Bulmer


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We have described the expression of specific iodothyronine deiodinase mRNAs (using quantitative RT-PCR) and activities in normal human placentas throughout gestation and compared our findings to those in placentas from pregnancies affected by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The predominant deiodinase expressed in placenta was type III (D3); type II (D2) was also present. In general terms, the activities of the enzymes D2 and D3 (and mRNAs encoding these enzymes) were higher earlier in gestation (<28 wk) than at term and displayed an inverse relationship with the duration of gestation (P < 0.05). Comparison of the relative expressions of mRNAs encoding D2 and D3 as well as their activities in placentas associated with IUGR (early and late gestational groups) with findings from normal placentas of similar gestational ages revealed no significant differences. Immunolocalization of D2 and D3 in syncytiotrophoblast (including syncytial sprouts) and cytotrophoblast of human placentas was demonstrated at both early and late gestation. Treatment of primary cultures of term cytotrophoblast cells in vitro with increasing doses of T3 (1, 10, and 100 nM) resulted in increased expression of mRNAs encoding both D2 and D3 at 100-nM concentrations (P < 0.01) compared with control. Experiments with JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells demonstrated a similar effect on D3 mRNA at 10 and 100 nM T3 (P < 0.01). The demonstrated changes in iodothyronine deiodinase expression in the placenta across pregnancy are likely to contribute to regulation of the thyroid hormone supply to the developing fetus. The lack of difference in deiodinase expression in normal placentas and those found in IUGR argues against placental deiodinases being responsible for the hypothyroxemia in circulating fetal thyroid hormones observed in this condition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chan S, Kachilele S, Hobbs E, Bulmer JN, Boelaert K, McCabe C, Driver P, Bradwell A, Kester M, Visser T, Franklyn J, Kilby M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Year: 2003

Volume: 88

Issue: 9

Pages: 4488-4495

Print publication date: 01/09/2003

ISSN (print): 0021-972X

ISSN (electronic): 1945-7197

Publisher: The Endocrine Society


DOI: 10.1210/jc.2003-030228

PubMed id: 12970328


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