Maternal-fetal cyst(e)ine transfer

Michael H. Malloy, David K. Rassin, William J. McGanity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In order to investigate the mechanisms by which cyst(e)ine (referring in the following to the mixture, in any proportion, of the sulfhydryl form of this compound - cysteine - and the disulfide form - cystine) transfer across the placenta to the fetus might be limited we first assessed the original observation that cyst(e)ine concentrations in fetal plasma are less than or equal to maternal cyst(e)ine concentrations. Second, we determined the capacity of the placenta to concentrate cyst(e)ine. And third, using an animal model, we determined the effects of providing excess cysteine to maternal rats on maternal-fetal cyst(e)ine transfer. Our data confirm (1) that cyst(e)ine is present in concentrations in human cord plasma that are equal to maternal plasma cyst(e)ine concentrations; (2) establish that cyst(e)ine is concentrated in the placenta, and (3) suggest that the incorporation of cyst(e)ine into glutathione in the placenta may limit the transfer of cyst(e)ine to the fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983


  • Amino acids
  • Cord blood
  • Cyst(e)ine
  • Fetal blood
  • Glutathione
  • Maternal blood
  • Placenta
  • Placental transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Biology


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