Dysregulation of placental cystathionine-β-synthase impact on fetal growth restriction

Keqing Wang, Meng Cai, Shakil Ahmad, Asif Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Fetal growth restriction (FGR), which causes perinatal morbidity and mortality, is characterized by birth weight and body mass being below 10th percentile for gestational age. FGR babies are prone to develop cardiovascular diseases later in life. Inadequate placental transfer of nutrients from mother to fetus due to placental insufficiency is considered the underlying cause of FGR. Recently, we demonstrated that blockade of cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) activity induces preeclampsia-like condition in pregnant mice. We hypothesized that defect in cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) / H2S pathway may promote FGR.
METHODS: Placental CBS expressions were determined in women with FGR (n=9) and normal controls (n=14) by Western blotting and real-time qPCR. ELISA was used to determine angiogenic factors levels in plasma and first-trimester (8–12 weeks gestation) human placental explants. Time pregnant mice were treated with CBS inhibitor, aminooxyacetic acid (AOA). Mean arterial blood pressure (MBP), histological assessments of placenta and embryos were performed.
RESULTS: Placental CBS expressions were significantly reduced in women with FGR. Inhibition of CBS activity by AOA reduced PlGF production from first-trimester human placental explants, Administration of AOA to pregnant mice had no effects on blood pressure, but caused fetal growth restriction, which was associated with reduced placental PlGF production. Histological analysis revealed a reduction in the placental junction zone, within which trophoblast giant cells and glycogen cells were less prominent in CBS inhibitor-treated animals. Furthermore, H2S donor GYY4137 treatment restored fetal growth in pregnant mice exposed to high level of sFlt-1.
CONCLUSIONS: These results imply that placental CBS is required for placental development and that dysregulation of CBS activity may contribute to the pathogenesis of FGR but not preeclampsia opening up the therapeutic potentials of H2S therapy in this condition.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberT-276
Pages (from-to)A195
Number of pages1
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2015


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