Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-28-2022

Document Type



Uwashimimana, A. 2022. Activation of Cellular Stress Pathway in Response to Accumulation of 3-hydroxy Fatty Acids in Placental Trophoblasts during Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP). Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Copyright Aline Uwashimimana 2022.


AFLP is a rare medical condition that affects pregnant women and unborn babies. It results from a mutation in the fetus that leads to the absence of long-chain 3-hydroxy acyl Co-A dehydrogenase (LCHAD) which plays an important role in free fatty acid metabolism. This leads to placental cell death whose cause remains unstudied. This research was designed to look at the connection between free fatty acid metabolism and placental cell death by examining whether the fatty acids activate MAPKs. Third-trimester placenta trophoblast cells were treated with fatty acids in different concentrations and cell death was accessed in all the concentrations. The results of the study show that Placental cell death is dependent on the concentration of free fatty acids, caspase-independent, non-apoptotic and it is mediated by phosphorylation of RIPK1, a necroptotic cell death mediator.