Fatty acids in the placenta of appropiate- versus small-for-gestational-age infants at term birth

Thumbnail Image
Gómez Vilarrubla, Ariadna
Mas Parés, Berta
Díaz, Marta
Xargay Torrent, Sílvia
Carreras Badosa, Gemma
Jové Font, MarionaJové Font, Mariona - ORCID ID
Martin Garí, Meritxell
Bonmatí Santané, Alexandra
Zegher, Francis de
Ibañez, Lourdes
Other authors
cc-by-nc-nd (c) Gómez et al., 2021
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Introduction: Fatty acids are essential nutrients for the fetus and are supplied by the mother through the placenta. Desaturase and elongase enzymes play an important role in modulating the fatty acid composition of body tissues. We aimed to compare the fatty acid profile and the estimated desaturase and elongase activities in the placenta of appropriate (AGA) versus small-for-gestational-age (SGA), and to determine their relationship with the offspring size at birth. Methods: The placental fatty acid profile was analyzed by gas chromatography in 84 infants (45 AGA and 30 SGA) from a prenatal cohort study. The estimated desaturase and elongase activities were calculated from productprecursor fatty acid ratios. Results were associated with maternal (age, body mass index and weight gain during gestation) and neonatal (gestational age, sex, birth weight and birth length) parameters. Results: Differences in placental fatty acid composition between AGA and SGA infants rather than correlations thereof with neonatal parameters were observed. Placentas from SGA infants contained lower levels of omega-3 (ALA, EPA, DPA, and DHA) and high omega-6/omega-3 ratios (AA/DHA and LA/ALA), as well as low elongase (Elovl5) and high desaturase (D9Dn7 and D5Dn6) activity as compared to AGA infants (all p < 0.0001). Discussion: Placentas of AGA and SGA infants differed in fatty acids profile as well as in estimated desaturase and elongase activities. A striking feature of SGA placentas was the low availability of omega-3. Hence, omega-3 fatty acid status deserves further attention, as a potential target of prenatal interventions.
Related resource
Journal or Serie
Placenta, 2021, vol. 109, p. 4-10