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Stirm, Laura; Kovarova, Marketa; Perschbacher, Sarah; Michlmaier, Renate; Fritsche, Louise; Siegel-Axel, Dorothea; Schleicher, Erwin; Peter, Andreas; Pauluschke-Fröhlich, Jan; Brucker, Sara; Abele, Harald; Wallwiener, Diethelm; Preissl, Hubert; Wadsack, Christian; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Fritsche, Andreas; Ensenauer, Regina; Desoye, Gernot; Staiger, Harald (2018): BMI-Independent Effects of Gestational Diabetes on Human Placenta. In: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 103, No. 9: pp. 3299-3309
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Purpose: Recently, alterations in maternal lipid metabolism were associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). However, detailed plasma lipid profiles and their relevance for placental and fetal metabolism are currently not understood. Methods: Maternal and placental lipid profiles were characterized in women with GDM and women with normal glucose tolerance (NGT). Inflammatory gene expression was compared in placentas and primary term trophoblasts between the groups. In addition, trophoblasts were stimulated with nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and effects on gene expression were quantified. Finally, placental macrophage content and cord blood concentrations of inflammatory parameters and NEFAs were compared between women with GDM and women with NGT with similar body mass index (BMI). Results: Palmitate and stearate levels were elevated in both maternal plasma and placental tissue of women with GDM. Placental GDM-associated elevations of IL6, IL8, and TLR2 expression were reflected in trophoblasts derived from women with GDM. Stimulation of primary trophoblasts with palmitate led to increased mRNA expression and protein release of the cytokine IL6 and the chemokine IL8. In line with this, elevated amounts of CD68-positive cells were quantified in the placental tissue of women with GDM. No GDM-associated elevations in a range of inflammatory parameters and NEFAs in cord blood of NGT vs GDM neonates was found. Conclusions: GDM, independently of BMI, altered maternal plasma NEFAs and the placental lipid profile. GDM was associated with trophoblast and whole-placenta lipoinflammation;however, this was not accompanied by elevated concentrations of inflammatory cytokines or NEFAs in neonatal cord blood.