Maternal Methyl-Cycle Amino Acid Profile and Kinetics: Relation with Placental Growth
Keywords:Vitamin B12, pregnancy, glycine, methionine, serine, methionine kinetic, amino acids
AbstractMaternal intake of quality protein regulates placental development and function thereby affecting fetal growth. Considering the prevalence of inadequate intakes of quality protein in Indian pregnant women, understanding the interplay between maternal supply of protein, its metabolism and fetoplacental growth becomes important. A secondary analysis of data from an open labelled-randomized intervention trial with 500 ml milk/day on south Indian pregnant women with marginally low vitamin B12 status, was performed to assess the relations between placental parameters and maternal trimester 3 methyl-cycle amino acid status as well as kinetics. This analysis was performed for 42 pregnancies from the trial where placentae had been collected and placental parameters had been measured. For these pregnancies, data on trimester 3 methionine, serine and glycine kinetics as well as plasma free amino acid concentrations were available. Protein intake and plasma citrulline concentrations were positively correlated at trimester 3 (Ï = 0.34, P = 0.027). Placental weight correlated positively with methyl-cycle specific amino acid concentrations [methionine (Ï = 0.32, P = 0.0388), serine (Ï = 0.49, P = 0.0009)], methionine kinetics [total methionine flux rates (Ï = 0.42, P = 0.006), RM (Ï = 0.45, P = 0.003), TS (Ï = 0.32, P = 0.046), TM (Ï = 0.45, P = 0.004)] and with birth weight (Ï = 0.57, P < 0.001). Findings from the current study indicate that maternal amino acid availability and more importantly, maternal methionine kinetics, positively influenced placental growth, likely mediated by key amino acids such as citrulline, which is known to regulate placental blood flow and function. As an appropriately functioning placenta is indispensable for fetal growth, these findings will form the basis for detailed mechanistic explorations into the placental regulation of maternal supply of amino acid to the fetus for designing effective intervention strategies towards optimizing fetomaternal health during and after pregnancy.
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