Pregnancy is associated with increased susceptibility to oxidative stress. Deficiencies in antioxidants during pregnancy and placental oxidant-antioxidant imbalance may impair the development of the fetoplacental unit or the eventual offspring. In order to elucidate the association of prenatal status of vitamin C with the oxidative stress and apoptotic activity in normal full-term placentas, we evaluated the content of placental lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) and the trophoblast apoptotic index in normal-term human pregnancies. Tissue samples of placentas obtained from 80 normal-term pregnancies were categorized into 40 cases with a lower level of prenatal vitamin C (<8.997 μg/ml) and 40 cases with a higher level of prenatal vitamin C (≥11.734 μg/ml). We evaluated the placental LOX-1 content and the trophoblast apoptotic index with Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry, and then determined their correlation with the prenatal status of vitamin C. We confirmed that the trophoblast expression for the endothelial scavenger receptor LOX-1 and the apoptotic activity were significantly lower in the group with a higher prenatal level of vitamin C, indicating that placental oxidative stress and the apoptotic index were associated with the maternal status of vitamin C. We therefore postulate that the maternal status of antioxidant vitamins during pregnancy can affect fetal development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (no. 03-PJ1-PG10-21900-0001).
- Oxidative stress
- Vitamin C