Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Natarajan SK, Bruett T, Muthuraj PG, Sahoo PK, Power J, Mott JL, et al. (2021) Saturated free fatty acids induce placental trophoblast lipoapoptosis. PLoS ONE 16(4): e0249907. pone.0249907




Obesity during pregnancy increases the risk for maternal complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and maternal inflammation. Maternal obesity also increases the risk of childhood obesity, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and diabetes to the offspring. Increased circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) in obesity due to adipose tissue lipolysis induces lipoapoptosis to hepatocytes, cholangiocytes, and pancreatic-β-cells. During the third trimester of human pregnancy, there is an increase in maternal lipolysis and release of FFAs into the circulation. It is currently unknown if increased FFAs during gestation as a result of maternal obesity cause placental cell lipoapoptosis. Increased exposure of FFAs during maternal obesity has been shown to result in placental lipotoxicity. The objective of the present study is to determine saturated FFA-induced trophoblast lipoapoptosis and also to test the protective role of monounsaturated fatty acids against FFA-induced trophoblast lipoapoptosis using in vitro cell culture model. Here, we hypothesize that saturated FFAs induce placental trophoblast lipoapoptosis, which was prevented by monounsaturated fatty acids.