Have We Neglected the Role of Fetal Endothelium in Transplacental Transport?

David Elad, Riki Levkovitz, Ariel J. Jaffa, Gernot Desoye, Moshe Hod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maternal-to-fetal transfer of nutrient and other substances occurs across the placental barrier (PB) which is made up of endothelial cells (EC) on the fetal side and the syncytiotrophoblast (STB) on the maternal side. Numerous studies were conducted to explore the transport characteristics across the STB layer, which is also considered as the major resistance for maternal-to-fetal exchange of materials. In contrast the layer of EC has received very little attention if at all. A recently developed viable co-culture model of the PB revealed significant resistance of the EC layer for maternal-to-fetal transfer of glucose. This argues for a major contribution of the EC to overall transplacental transfer of nutrients. Accordingly, it is recommended to fill the void of knowledge and expand our understanding on the role of the feto-placental endothelium for transplacental transport characteristics. In human maternal-to-fetal transplacental transport of substances occurs across syncytiotrophoblast (STB) on the maternal side and endothelial cells (EC) on the fetal side. Numerous studies explored the transport characteristics across the STB layer with very little attention to EC. Recently, a new experimental model revealed significant resistance of the EC layer for transfer of glucose and marker molecules. Hence, it is recommended to direct future research efforts on the relative role of the feto-placental endothelium in contributing to transplacental transport characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalTraffic
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Basal lamina
  • Cytotrophoblasts
  • Endothelial cells
  • Maternal-to-fetal transport
  • Placental barrier
  • Syncytiotrophoblast

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