Placenta-targeted treatment in hypoxic dams improves maturation and growth of fetal cardiomyocytes in vitro via the release of placental factors

Esha Ganguly, Floor Spaans, Jude S. Morton, Raven Kirschenman, Mais M. Aljunaidy, Thomas E.J. Phillips, C. Patrick Case, Christy Lynn M. Cooke, Sandra T. Davidge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Does treatment of hypoxic dams with a placenta-targeted antioxidant prevent the release of placenta-derived factors that impair maturation or growth of fetal cardiomyocytes in vitro? What is the main finding and its importance? Factors released from hypoxic placentae impaired fetal cardiomyocyte maturation (induced terminal differentiation) and growth (increased cell size) in vitro, which was prevented by maternal treatment with a placenta-targeted antioxidant (nMitoQ). Moreover, there were no sex differences in the effects of placental factors on fetal cardiomyocyte maturation and growth. Overall, our data suggest that treatment targeted against placental oxidative stress could prevent fetal programming of cardiac diseases via the release of placental factors. Abstract: Pregnancy complications associated with placental oxidative stress may impair fetal organ development through the release of placenta-derived factors into the fetal circulation. We assessed the effect of factors secreted from placentae previously exposed to prenatal hypoxia on fetal cardiomyocyte development and developed a treatment strategy that targets placental oxidative stress by encapsulating the antioxidant MitoQ into nanoparticles (nMitoQ). We used a rat model of prenatal hypoxia (gestational day (GD) 15–21), which was treated with saline or nMitoQ on GD15. On GD21, placentae were harvested, placed in culture, and conditioned medium (containing placenta-derived factors) was collected after 24 h. This conditioned medium was then added to cultured cardiomyocytes from control dam fetuses. Conditioned medium from prenatally hypoxic placentae increased the percentage of binucleated cardiomyocytes (marker of terminal differentiation) and the size of mononucleated and binucleated cardiomyocytes (sign of hypertrophy), effects that were prevented by nMitoQ treatment. Our data suggest that factors derived from placentae previously exposed to prenatal hypoxia lead to abnormal fetal cardiomyocyte development, and show that treatment against placental oxidative stress may prevent fetal programming of cardiac disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1514
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume105
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • fetal cardiomyocyte
  • nMitoQ
  • placental factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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