Endocrinology and Metabolism

Maternal calorie restriction modulates placental mitochondrial biogenesis and bioenergetic efficiency: putative involvement in fetoplacental growth defects in rats

Sylvain Mayeur, Steve Lancel, Nicolas Theys, Marie-Amélie Lukaszewski, Sophie Duban-Deweer, Bruno Bastide, Johan Hachani, Roméo Cecchelli, Christophe Breton, Anne Gabory, Laurent Storme, Brigitte Reusens, Claudine Junien, Didier Vieau, Jean Lesage


Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases. The placental capacity to supply nutrients and oxygen to the fetus represents the main determiner of fetal growth. However, few studies have investigated the effects of maternal diet on the placenta. We explored placental adaptive proteomic processes implicated in response to maternal undernutrition. Rat term placentas from 70% food-restricted (FR30) mothers were used for a proteomic screen. Placental mitochondrial functions were evaluated using molecular and functional approaches, and ATP production was measured. FR30 drastically reduced placental and fetal weights. FR30 placentas displayed 14 proteins that were differentially expressed, including several mitochondrial proteins. FR30 induced a marked increase in placental mtDNA content and changes in mitochondrial functions, including modulation of the expression of genes implicated in biogenesis and bioenergetic pathways. FR30 mitochondria showed higher oxygen consumption but failed to maintain their ATP production. Maternal undernutrition induces placental mitochondrial abnormalities. Although an increase in biogenesis and bioenergetic efficiency was noted, placental ATP level was reduced. Our data suggest that placental mitochondrial defects may be implicated in fetoplacental pathologies.

  • placenta
  • proteomic
  • mitochondria
  • fetal growth
  • rat
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